Andris Biedrins

And-Ones: Brown, D-League, Simmons

The burden of the Sixers‘ long rebuilding process is weighing on coach Brett Brown, who believed the franchise would be further along than it currently is, Zach Lowe of writes. “I do feel the enormity of it from time to time,” Brown told Lowe. “I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I said that I had thought in year three, this was the group I’d be coaching. I didn’t realize the roster would play out like it has — that last year would be almost a redshirt year, with Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.

Philadelphia’s plan of bottoming out and rebuilding through the draft has rankled more than a few executives around the NBA, though no further discussions regarding reforming the draft lottery process are expected to take place until the next session of collective bargaining between the league and the NBPA occurs, which will not happen until 2016 or 2017, Lowe notes in the same piece.

Here’s what else is happening around the league:

  • The Pistons have assigned Spencer Dinwiddie and Darrun Hilliard to their D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids, the team announced. The moves were first reported by David Mayo of (via Twitter).
  • LSU forward Ben Simmons tops the latest 2016 NBA draft rankings from Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. Simmons overtook Kentucky center Skal Labissiere, who is now third on Givony’s draft board, with Duke swingman Brandon Ingram now slotted second.
  • Former Warriors center Andris Biedrins, who last played in the NBA with Utah during the 2013/14 season, said he wasn’t sure if his playing career was officially over during an interview with (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).  “I am staying in shape, nothing crazy, but I work out three-four times per week,” Biedrins said. “It’s tough to say if I have put basketball aside. At the moment I don’t have the wish to play. Maybe after half year or a year I will want to play, but not now.” Biedrins also noted he was a big fan of Knicks rookie, and fellow Latvian, Kristaps Porzingis. “Kristaps Porzingis? How you cannot follow him? I am very happy for Porzingis, he has been fantastic. I know how difficult it is. I hope he keeps up like that,” Biedrins added.
  • The Thunder have assigned point guard Cameron Payne to their D-League affiliate, the team announced via press release.

Jazz Claim Erik Murphy, Waive Andris Biedrins

The Jazz have claimed Erik Murphy off of waivers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Murphy was waived by the Bulls on Thursday, presumably to make room for a perimeter player. We had originally heard that the Bucks might be interested in claiming Murphy, but instead it’s the Jazz who have laid claim to the rookie big man out of Florida. Since the Jazz have a league maximum 15 players on their roster, they’ve opted to waive Andris Biedrins to make room, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.

Murphy, the 49th overall pick in last year’s draft, has played only 62 minutes in 24 contests for Chicago this season. His $490K salary will be wiped from the Bulls’ books and added on to the Jazz’s cap total. By getting Murphy’s contract off their books, the Bulls are now going to be able to remain under the luxury tax, even if Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah reach their earn bonuses. Waiver claims are a rare occurrence in the NBA, but the Jazz must be intrigued enough by Murphy’s size and skillset to take on the extra cap hit. He’ll be on a non-guaranteed, minimum salary deal next season.

To make the move work, the Jazz have waived Biedrins and his $9MM salary. Biedrins was acquired when the Jazz acted as a third-party in the trade that sent Andre Iguodala to the Warriors, but the veteran big man has faced injury problems and played sparingly during his tenure with the team. Utah will continue to be on the hook for his entire salary, providing he clears waivers, which is a near-certainty.

The Bulls catch a break with Utah’s claim of Murphy, whose cap hit will now come off Chicago’s books. This should give them enough room to sign multiple players to prorated minimum-salary contracts and remain beneath the luxury tax threshold even if Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah trigger bonus clauses in their contracts.

Odds & Ends: Irving, Raptors, Trade Talk

As the Andrew Bynum rumors continue to pour in, the Cavaliers got some very good news today. Currently sitting only three games out of the East’s eight seed, the Cavs announced that star guard Kyrie Irving‘s left knee sustained no structural damage on Tuesday when he had to be helped off the court after an awkward fall.

Let’s take a look at what else is happening around the NBA on Wednesday:

Odds & Ends: Heat, Nowitzki, HGH, Biedrins

The Heat‘s visit to Cleveland tonight brought the specter of LeBron James hitting the free agent market next summer to the forefront, but Jonathan Tjarks of argues that the four-time MVP should stay in Miami if he wants to continue winning championships. The Heat are a strong draw for other free agents, too, and it’s no surprise that players take discounts to come to Miami, which offers an up-tempo system, the chance to play with LeBron, and title contention, Tjarks writes. Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is confident Dirk Nowitzki won’t seek too much money from the team in contract negotiations this summer, and says the Mavs are “going to do all we can to keep him forever,” notes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • Cuban also told reporters that the NBA is open-minded about studies on the use of human growth hormone for helping athletes recover from injury. Cuban intends to fund the research, but that sort of HGH use in the NBA would first require U.S. government approval.  Tim McMahon of has the details.
  • Andris Biedrins admits impending free agency is on his mind, and the Jazz center hinted at retirement, saying in part that, “I know this is my last year,” as Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune passes along. Of course, Biedrins could be referring to the last year of his contract, rather than his career.
  • Gerald Green has fit in surprisingly well in Phoenix, writes Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld, who sees potential for him to be a long-term piece for the Suns.
  • Kim English has signed to play in France with Chorale Roanne, the team announced (translation via Sportando). Emiliano Carchia of Sportando first reported the deal for the Leon Rose client and former Pistons guard.
  • Jabari Davis of HoopsWorld doesn’t expect the Heat‘s Big Three to hit the open market next summer, but offers up a list of plenty of other potential free agents for teams to consider in 2014.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Rockets, Kaman, Jazz, Goodwin

The Rockets head into the 2013/14 season considered one of the legit contenders to come out of the Western Conference, but according to GM Daryl Morey, the Houston roster is still a work in progress.

“We’re not all the way there, we’re not a finished team,” Morey told Brian Windhorst of “We’re going to be experimenting. We want to be a great team by mid-April.”

In his piece, Windhorst points to Omer Asik as the Rockets’ most significant trade chip, suggesting that it wouldn’t be surprising if the club worked out a deal involving the big center prior to the trade deadline. Here are a few more items from out of the Western Conference:

  • Chris Kaman was the Lakers‘ “unheralded consolation prize” after they lost out on Dwight Howard in free agency. But Ramona Shelburne of explains why the veteran center could play a crucial role in the team’s season.
  • After his seeing his role and his production decline during the last several seasons in Golden State, Andris Biedrins says he’s happy to get a “fresh start” with the Jazz, tweets Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • The Jazz are one of eight NBA teams carrying the maximum 20 players, meaning they’ll need to make at least five cuts before the regular season begins. However, coach Tyrone Corbin says no roster moves are imminent at this point, according to Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune (via Twitter).
  • Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic takes an extensive look at rookie guard Archie Goodwin, who the Suns hope will become a part of the team’s long-term core.

Jazz Acquire Biedrins, Jefferson, Rush, Picks

JULY 10TH, 4:40pm: Utah's agreement with the Warriors has been finalized and has been rolled into a separate deal, both teams confirmed. The breakdown:

JULY 5TH, 4:36pm: Both first-rounders the Jazz are acquiring in the deal will be unprotected, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.

4:01pm: The Warriors will send their 2014 and 2017 first-round picks to the Jazz, tweets Wojnarowski. Multiple second-rounders will also go to Utah in the deal, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).

3:27pm: Murphy will be sent to the Warriors in the trade, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Meanwhile, Wojnarowski tweets that multiple draft picks are headed to the Jazz, including a 2014 first-rounder.

3:23pm: Brandon Rush is also headed to Utah in the deal, according to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group. Shedding Rush's salary as well will give Golden State room under the cap to sign Iguodala.

Ken Berger of adds (via Twitter) that the Warriors will receive a non-guaranteed contract from Utah in the trade. That player will be either Kevin Murphy or Jerel McNeal.

2:57pm: The Warriors have reached an agreement on a salary-dump trade with the Jazz, according to Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson will be heading to Utah in the deal, reports TNT's David Aldridge (via Twitter).

Rumors relating to the Warriors' trade talks with the Jazz had been swirling all day, as Golden State looked for a way to clear cap space to make a run at Dwight Howard and/or Andre Iguodala. The team ended up reaching an agreement to bring Iguodala aboard, and hasn't been entirely ruled out of the race for Howard.

Warriors Eyeing Iggy; Talking To Sixers, Cavs, Jazz

As Dwight Howard remains undecided on where he'll sign, the Warriors continue to explore potential salary-dumps, having engaged in talks on complicated deals with the Sixers, Cavaliers, and Jazz, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).

Ken Berger of named the Cavs and Jazz, along with the Hawks, as potential trade partners for Golden State earlier today, while a subsequent report suggested the Warriors were talking to Utah about Andrew Bogut. Various outlets have since downplayed any talks involving Bogut, though multiple Bay Area scribes believe the Warriors may just be trying to save face with their incumbent center (Twitter links).

As Berger reported earlier, the Warriors' attempts to dump Richard Jefferson's and Andris Biedrins' contracts aren't necessarily related to the team's pursuit of Howard. Berger noted that Andre Iguodala was another possible target for Golden State, and Wojnarowski backs that up in a tweet of his own.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today (via Twitter), Iguodala would like to join the Warriors and has already had "deep talks" about going to Golden State. However, Amick points out that the Nuggets have "strongly rebuffed" the idea of signing-and-trading Iguodala to the Warriors, so clearing the necessary cap space would be Golden State's only way to sign him. Simply moving Jefferson and Biedrins likely wouldn't create enough room for Iguodala, since the Warriors would still have about $50MM in guaranteed salary on their books even without those two contracts.

Dwight Howard Rumors: Friday

Today is Friday, which means decision day for Dwight Howard may finally be here. Or it may not be. Various reports this week have indicated Howard would like to announce his decision today, but at least as many reports have suggested an announcement may not come until later in the weekend. Considering how indecisive Howard has been in the past, resolution today is far from a sure thing, but we at least seem to be nearing the final stages of a saga that's been playing out for the last couple years.

The big Howard story yesterday had the Warriors exploring the possibility of clearing cap space to sign D12 outright. It certainly wouldn't be easy, and there's no guarantee the big man will choose the Warriors anyway, but here's the latest on Golden State's efforts, and the rest of today's Howard rumors:

  • The Warriors, Lakers, and Rockets appear to be the three teams left standing for Howard, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, who says the events of the last 24 hours have sent "strong signs" to the Mavericks and Hawks that they're out of the running. Meanwhile, a source tells Amick that the Warriors have been given indications that the Rockets are the "strong favorite" to land Howard.
  • Multiple teams involved in the race for Howard fear that the Rockets will be the winners, tweets Marc Stein of

Earlier updates:

Warriors’ Efforts To Clear Cap Not Only Tied To D12

While there's been speculation that the Warriors would only attempt to unload big expiring contracts like Andrew Bogut, Richard Jefferson, and Andris Biedrins if Dwight Howard chooses Golden State, that's not necessarily the case, according to Ken Berger of Berger reports that even if Howard commits to sign elsewhere, the Warriors are still interested in trying to clear cap space, perhaps to pursue another impact free agent such as Andre Iguodala.

According to Berger, the Warriors have offered Bogut, Jefferson, and Biedrins to the Hawks, Jazz, and Cavaliers, three of the only NBA teams with enough cap room to absorb one or more of those contracts without sending out salary in return.

Berger writes that Golden State would have to move two of those three players in order to clear enough space to sign Howard outright, though I believe all three would actually have to be dealt. Even if the Warriors were to move the two larger salaries (Bogut and Jefferson), the team would still have about $45MM left on its books, by my estimation. That would rule out a max offer for Howard, but would likely be enough room to squeeze in a competitive offer for a player like Iguodala.

While Bogut has a little value on his own, Jefferson and Biedrins, who are making $11MM+ and $9MM respectively, have significant negative trade value. I'd imagine that any team taking on either of those players would demand multiple draft picks, including at least one first-rounder.

Warriors Increase Efforts To Pursue Dwight Howard

11:09pm: On the possibility that the Warriors complete some deals and Dwight still decides to sign elsewhere, one source tells Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group that there's no chance of that happening, as Golden State would presumably only follow through with cap-clearing trades if he were to commit to them. Thompson II also says that even if the Warriors were to agree to some deals, they could still cancel them before the moratorium ends if Howard decides to head elsewhere.

9:41pm: Earlier tonight, Heisler (via Twitter) cited a Lakers source who said that the team would consider a combination of Curry, Barnes, or Thompson to go along with Bogut and a number one draft pick in a sign-and-trade for Howard, although Golden State hasn't offered any three of those young players.  

6:52pm: Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times says that the Lakers aren't actively looking for a sign-and-trade and still hope that Howard returns. If he were to be included in a deal, L.A. would want young talent in return and would have to find a third team to take on any expiring contracts. If the Lakers were to complete a trade with the Warriors and take back expiring contracts, they would still be accountable for roughly the same tax bill that they'd face if they were to successfully re-sign Howard, which is why they wouldn't want any expiring deals in return. Pincus adds that the Lakers would rather have Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill constitute their frontcourt than have to pay an additional $50MM in luxury tax in return for dealing Dwight (All Twitter links). 

6:12pm: According to Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN, sources with knowledge of the Warriors' thinking report that Golden State has begun aggressively shopping their players in an attempt to clear enough salary cap space to land Dwight Howard. Stein tweets that although no move would be easy for the Warriors, the team felt "emboldened" by the impression that they made on the free agent big man during their meeting with him this week, enough to where it is believed that they had gained ground on the Rockets and Mavericks.

As currently constructed, the Warriors chances at landing the star center primarily involved convincing the Lakers to agree to a sign-and-trade, although Windhorst and Stein make note that Los Angeles would prefer to let Dwight walk and preserve cap space for next summer – in addition to not being so open to helping him land on a division rival. With that in mind, Golden State is now trying to shop expiring contracts to teams with cap space in order to create enough room to sign Howard outright. Such expiring deals include those of Andris Biedrins ($9MM), Richard Jefferson ($11M), and Andrew Bogut ($14MM), and sources say that the franchise has tried to unload all three this week.

It is reported that Golden State would be willing to include a future first round pick in order to sweeten a potential deal, but they may also have to consider dealing away some of their promising young players – such as Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson – in order complete a trade. Stein and Windhorst write that when the Warriors had tried to attempt to offload a large contract last year, prospective trading partners tended to include Barnes or Thompson into the discussion. 

Mark Heisler of Sheridan Hoops (via Twitter) cites a source who indicates that if a sign-and-trade were to materialize between the Lakers and Warriors, L.A. would insist that Stephen Curry, Thompson, or Barnes would have to be involved. According to Stein and Windhorst, a source close to the situation says that Dwight is expected to make his decision by tomorrow. All things considered, it'll be quite intriguing to see if and what the Warriors can try to come up with until then.