James Posey

Coaching Notes: Lue, Jones, Walton, Kings

A delay in working out an extension with Tyronn Lue has several Cavaliers assistants working in the summer league without contracts, according to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com. The deals for Jim Boylan, Phil Handy, James Posey and Vitaly Potapenko expired July 1st. Lue, who has promised they will all be kept on his staff, is negotiating an extension after winning an NBA title in his first season as a head coach. He is still under a four-year, $6.5MM contract that he had as an assistant after refusing a three-year, $9.5MM offer when he replaced David Blatt in midseason. Lue has a year left on his current deal and said he isn’t worried about the status of the extension. “It’ll eventually get done,” he said.

There’s more coaching news around the league:

  • The Cavaliers are expected to make Damon Jones an assistant coach, Haynes writes in the same piece. Jones will replace Bret Brielmaier, who recently joined the Nets‘ staff.
  • After a two-month wait while the Warriors made their way through the playoffs, former Golden State assistant Luke Walton finally got to coach the Lakers, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. Walton made his debut Friday night in the Las Vegas Summer League and received a rousing ovation from Lakers fans in attendance. “I know I still have a lot to learn, but I think everybody does, no matter how long you’ve been doing any job,” Walton said. “I’m excited and I feel like I’m ready for this and I’m looking forward to it.”
  • The Lakers did not keep player development coach Thomas Scott, tweets Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. Scott is expected to pursue other opportunities.
  • The Kings have added Bob Thornton and Larry Lewis as assistants to new head coach Dave Joerger, tweets Sean Cunningham of KXTV in Sacramento.

And-Ones: Stokes, Drew, Cavs, Lottery

Steve Nash was the oldest player to appear in a game last season, a distinction he’s poised to repeat this year if he’s healthy, but he was 1 year old when the oldest person to go up and down NBA floors last year made his debut. Referee Dick Bavetta had been the dean of his profession for some time, but the 74-year-old has retired, the league announced today. As the NBA readies to go on without Bavetta for the first time since 1975, here’s the latest from around the league:

  • Jarnell Stokes will make $725K this season and minimum salaries thereafter in his three-year deal with the Grizzlies, according to Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM ESPN in Memphis (Twitter link). The Grizzlies used part of their mid-level exception to sign Stokes, this year’s 35th overall pick. They used most of the exception on Vince Carter, but there’s still enough left to hand out a three- or four-year deal for the rookie minimum salary for someone else, though that presumes camp invitee Patrick Christopher is on a deal that covers no more than two seasons.
  • The Cavs officially hired former Bucks and Hawks head coach Larry Drew as an assistant coach, the team announced. The team also promoted James Posey, who was serving as an assistant coach for Cleveland’s D-League affiliate, to head coach David Blatt‘s staff.
  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s statements during the 2011 lockout about a desire for competitive balance conflict with his apparent openness to draft lottery reform, as SB Nation’s Tom Ziller argues. Lengthening the odds that the teams with the worst records would come away with the top pick each year does little to further the goal of parity, as Ziller points out.

Central Notes: Posey, Cavs, Deng, Pistons

Let's round up a few odds and ends from around the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers' D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, has officially hired James Posey as an assistant coach on Steve Hetzel's staff, according to a press release from the Cavs. The longtime NBA swingman last played in 2010/11.
  • With the Bulls deciding to put extension talks for Luol Deng on hold, agent Herb Rudoy tells David Aldridge of NBA.com that he fully intends to take his client to free agency. "He loves being there, and he loves playing for [coach Tom] Thibodeau," Rudoy said of Deng. "Loves playing for him. But he has to see what the market is."
  • If the Pistons plan to make trades at this season's deadline, the team's potential excess of small forwards and guards could create some opportunities, writes Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press.

Eastern Notes: Celtics, Drummond, Sixers

The new regime in Boston, led by former Butler coach Brad Stevens, is looking to fill out the rest of the staff positions during the down days before NBA training camps open at the beginning of October. ESPN NBA Insider Jeff Goodman tweets that they're looking to bring former Celtics swingman James Posey back into the Celtics fold as an assistant.

Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com adds that the Celtics have benefited from bringing in former players who can provide more hands-on instruction to their young roster. The C's had brought in former Lakers guard Tyronn Lue in that role in previous seasons to act as a practice body while providing additional tutelage.

Here's what else is happening around the Eastern Conference:

  • In an open letter Ethan Sherwood-Strauss wrote for ESPN.com on Friday, he asked Andre Drummond about attempting to shoot free throws underhanded in an effort to improve his historically abysmal 37 percent average from the line during his rookie season. 
  • CBS Sports' Matt Moore reports that Drummond declined the offer on Twitter and Moore looks at some other big men that may have wanted to adopt the underhand free throw form popularized by Hall of Fame guard, Rick Barry
  • Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Sixers fans need to calm down. The team isn't leaving Philadelphia despite concern stemming from the purchase of the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center by Sixers owner Joshua Harris
  • During the NBA's Rookie Transition Program in Tarrytown, New York two weeks ago, the New York Times' Joe Brescia spoke with Anthony Bennett about recovering from the torn labrum in his shoulder, and how he'll mesh with the Cavaliers' other power forward Tristan Thompson, and star point guard Kyrie Irving
  • Bobcats assistant Bob Beyer was charged with resisting arrest outside a bar in Saratoga Springs on Thursday. 

Unsigned Amnesty Victims

As Hoops Rumors' amnesty tracker shows, exactly half of the NBA's 30 teams have used their amnesty provisions to release a player and eliminate his contract from their books. These teams are still paying the players' salaries, but don't take a cap or tax hit for the contracts.

Many of 2011's and 2012's amnesty victims quickly found other NBA homes, with many of this summer's amnestied players not even clearing waivers before they were snatched up. But for every Luis Scola or Elton Brand, there's a player who has yet to catch on with another NBA club. Most of the following players are still receiving pay checks from their old teams, but are available to be signed as free agents. Here's the latest on them:

  • Baron Davis: Entering the final year of his old contract with the Cavaliers, Davis is unlikely to sign anytime soon, since he's still recovering from the torn MCL/ACL he suffered in May. However, Davis would like to return before the end of the 2012/13 season if possible, and it sounds like the Knicks would be his first choice.
  • Ryan Gomes: Our rumors page for Gomes is empty since he was amnestied by the Clippers, which doesn't necessarily bode well for his chances of signing somewhere for the coming season. Still, I expect him to at least get a training camp invite from a team, and even if he doesn't, he'll earn $4MM this season from the Clips.
  • Gilbert Arenas: A 2011 cut, Arenas managed to catch on with the Grizzlies for part of last season, but didn't blow anyone away with his performance in Memphis. Based on recent reports, the former 20+ PPG scorer is "slimmed down and fully healthy," which could make him a worthwhile risk at the veteran's minimum.
  • Chris Andersen: It seems that the former Nugget is at least drawing interest, with one report suggesting that he's received offers up to $5MM per year. I think if he truly had even a one-year offer worth $5MM, he would've accepted it yesterday, but the Birdman still looks like a good bet to find a bench spot somewhere.
  • Josh Childress: The Wizards were said to be one of a handful of teams with a little interest in Childress, but based on his horrid 2011/12 season in Phoenix, anything more than a minimum salary for the former sixth overall pick seems unlikely. With three years and $21MM still remaining on his Suns deal, Childress is under no pressure to accept the first offer he gets.
  • Darko Milicic: While spending a year overseas could make some sense for Darko, it appears it's not an option he's considering, based on comments made by his agent. The Heat, Nets, Bulls, and Clippers were said to be interested shortly after he was amnestied, but at least two of those teams have signed other big men since then, so Darko's options may be dwindling.
  • Andray Blatche: Blatche reportedly received at least exploratory interest from the Spurs and Heat, but I wonder if the young forward would prefer to try to rebuild his value on a non-contender that would give him more playing time. Given Blatche's upside, I imagine there are teams willing to take a flier on him.
  • James Posey / Charlie Bell: Both Posey and Bell had just one year left on their deals when they were released in December by the Pacers and Warriors respectively, and neither player has signed an NBA deal since. Bell played overseas this year, and neither Posey or Bell has announced his retirement, as far as I know, but it doesn't seem like an NBA return is in the cards for either player.

Current Free Agents With Playoff Experience

With many playoff contenders plagued by health issues, including injuries to a handful of superstars, some teams may be thinking about adding an extra body for the postseason. There are plenty of young players available in the D-League, but for a club in need of one extra piece, a veteran with playoff experience may be the preferred candidate.

Listed below are a few free agents with extensive playoff experience who would still be eligible for the postseason if they signed with an NBA team today. Many of these players have been out of the league this season and are hardly sure bets to pick up where they left off, but for clubs with depth issues, they could be worth at least a look.

  • Rasual Butler: The Raptors waived Butler last month in advance of the buyout deadline to allow him to catch on with a playoff team. Although the Bulls were thought to have some interest, Butler still hasn't landed another NBA job. The veteran forward has played in 30 postseason contests, including a handful with Chicago last season.
  • Michael Finley: Having been out of the NBA since 2010, the 39-year-old Finley is probably a long shot to contribute much to a playoff team. But he was still working out for NBA squads this season, and has 129 career postseason games on his resumé. Finley appeared in the playoffs in 10 straight seasons from 2001 to 2010, averaging 11.8 PPG.
  • Eddie House: The sharpshooter has appeared in 66 postseason games, with a good chunk of them coming for the 2008 champion Boston Celtics. House shot 42.6% from downtown in 35 playoff games in 2008 and 2009 for Boston. Last season, House was on the Heat's playoff roster, though his role and impact were reduced in Miami.
  • Allen Iverson: Iverson racked up over 3,200 minutes played in 71 career playoff games, which included a run to the Finals with the 2000/01 76ers. Iverson has averaged a staggering 29.7 PPG in the postseason, including 24.5 PPG in his most recent playoff appearance, in 2008 with the Nuggets. We know AI still wants to play in the NBA, but it's probably too late in the season for any team to risk the sideshow that could accompany signing the former MVP.
  • James Posey: After being amnestied by the Pacers prior to the season, Posey has yet to catch on anywhere, which is a little surprising. While his production had fallen off over the last two seasons, the forward still provides veteran leadership, having played in 65 postseason games in his career. Like House, Posey played a crucial role in the 2008 playoffs for the Celtics, averaging 22.0 minutes in 26 games for the eventual NBA champions.
  • Joe Smith: The 36-year-old has appeared in 62 career playoff games, including brief action in five games for the Lakers last year. Still, Smith hasn't been a useful part-time contributor since the 2008/09 season, so it's questionable whether he has much left to offer a contender.
  • Jarron Collins, Devean George, Morris Peterson, and Etan Thomas are among the other veteran free agents with multiple seasons of playoff experience.