Greg Smith

And-Ones: Nets, Clippers, Blazers

The non-guaranteed deal that 11-year veteran Dahntay Jones signed with the Nets earlier this month doesn’t fit with the rest of the team’s offseason signings, NetsDaily writes, because he is the oldest Net at 34 and averaged less than a point, less than a rebound and less than an assist per game in a mere 33 games for the Clippers. Jones, however, is known for his toughness and leadership and those are the kind of qualities coaches like on a contender, not a rebuilding team, NetsDaily adds.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • D’Angelo Russell, whom the Lakers chose with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, believes he can win the Rookie of the Year award this season and that the Lakers will be in the playoffs, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes.
  • With size, strength and athleticism, there’s a decent chance Cliff Alexander, who has a non-guaranteed contract worth a reported $525,093, will be a low-risk, high-reward building block for the Blazers‘ future, Mike Richman of The Oregonian writes.
  • Former Mavs center Greg Smith did not have an impressive showing in a workout for the Guangdong Tigers, international correspondent David Pick reports (via Twitter).
  • The Kentucky Wildcats will showcase their players to league executives in a combine on October 11th, tweets Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy, who cites sources.
  • After a productive offseason that was highlighted by the re-signing of DeAndre Jordan and the additions of Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith and Pablo Prigioni, the 2015/16 version of the Clippers is the most talented team the franchise has ever assembled, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders opines.

Southwest Notes: Davis, Gentry, Smith, Buford

New Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is sold on the idea of Anthony Davis as a “generational player” along the lines of the game’s true greats, as he said to Ian Thomsen of The Pelicans secured Davis on a max extension this summer, not long after hiring Gentry to become the big man’s first NBA coach aside from Monty Williams.

“Anthony is right in that category, and there is a lot of responsibility that comes with that,” Gentry said. “It is up to us to make him as good as he can possibly be, and not settle for him to be less than great in this area or that area. I told him that I have no doubt that he is going to be an MVP in this league. And I said to him, ‘We are going to be really, really good if you also win Defensive Player of the Year.”’

See more on Gentry amid the latest from the Southwest Division:

  • Gentry doesn’t expect to fall in lockstep with Pelicans GM Dell Demps and executive VP of basketball operations Mickey Loomis, but Demps told Thomsen that it’s clear that they have the same vision for the team. “Dell has no desire to control anyone,” Gentry said. “He wants opinions. He wants you to challenge what he is saying. He does not want to be in the situation where everything is yes, yes, yes. We’re going to disagree on a lot of things; we are going to agree on a lot of things. To me that is healthy. That is one of the reasons why teams are successful. We talked about loyalty, and I told Dell: I look at loyalty as guys expressing their opinions, and then when everything is discussed and you come to a conclusion, you walk out united. When I worked with Doug Collins, we used to have a saying: Agree, disagree, but align.”
  • Former Mavericks and Rockets center Greg Smith will work out for the Guangdong Southern Tigers, a source told international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). The 24-year-old Seth Cohen client spent last season with the Mavericks and was also briefly on the Bulls roster in 2013/14 after spending parts of three seasons with the Rockets, but NBA interest has appeared slim this summer, as his rumors page shows.
  • GM Daryl Morey deserves credit for his move to acquire Ty Lawson for the Rockets in a trade that didn’t cost any core pieces, but Spurs GM R.C. Buford is an overwhelming favorite for Executive of the Year honors, argues Fran Blinebury of The additions of LaMarcus Aldridge and David West drew headlines, and Blinebury is also a fan of what he believes is a team-friendly new deal with Danny Green.

Mavs Notes: Oden, Villanueva, Ellis

Earlier today, it was reported that Greg Oden will work out for the Mavs as part of a mini-camp the team is conducting. Tim MacMahon of (Twitter link) adds that Oden is on a list with guys like Samuel Dalembert and Jermaine O’Neal for a potential minimum-salary arrangement to be one of the team’s backup big men. Charlie Villanueva, Amar’e Stoudemire and Greg Smith are all free agents this summer, leaving Dwight Powell as the only remaining big man under contract that primarily came off the bench last season.

Here’s more from Dallas:

  • The team would welcome back Villanueva if he is willing to play for the veteran’s minimum again, MacMahon writes. The forward enjoyed playing in Dallas last season, which included his first career playoff appearance. “I like my role,” Villanueva said. “I embraced it, I accepted it. I’ve been in the league for 10 years and been coached by nine different coaches. I would love to experience the same coach again next year, but we’ll see.”
  • The Mavericks’ entire offseason hinges on Monta Ellis‘ decision to either opt in or out of his contract, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News opines. The shooting guard is expected to opt out in search of a more lucrative contract. If Ellis leaves in free agency, it would leave a huge void in the team’s backcourt. However, Sefko notes it would free up additional cap space to pursue LaMarcus Aldridge and retain Tyson Chandler. That potential series of moves would give Dirk Nowitzki a role off the bench, which is something he is willing to consider.

Western Notes: Wiggins, Kelly, Mavs

The rapid development of rookie Andrew Wiggins is one of the few bright spots for the Timberwolves this season, Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press writes. “He’s above where we thought he would be,” president of basketball operations and coach Flip Saunders said of Wiggins. “There have not been very many rookies that have gone through a 15 game stretch where they’re averaging 21 [points] a game and been in a situation where they’re taking the other team’s best defensive player and playing both ends of the floor.

Here’s more from the West:

  • Mavs forward Greg Smith has signed with agent Seth Cohen of Versus Management, Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype reports (Twitter link). Smith, who is earning $948,163 this season, is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • The Lakers have recalled Ryan Kelly from the L.A. D-Fenders, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced. This was Kelly’s first trip to the D-League of the season.
  • The Mavs knew that they would experience some rough patches as Rajon Rondo was integrated into the team, and it’s a process that is still ongoing, Schuyler Dixon of writes. ”We got a point guard that’s got a lot of experience and a championship and is a great player, but I also think we’ve still got some work to do on both ends of the floor,” Dirk Nowitzki said. ”I could certainly see the potential that’s there, but the problem is the West is just so tough. It’s kind of hard to see right now how it’s going to end up.

Southwest Notes: Rondo, Stokes, Felton, Smith

During the press conference to officially welcome Rajon Rondo to Dallas, Mavs owner Mark Cuban indicated that the veteran point guard was acquired primarily to help the team’s defense, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News relays. “We needed to be better defensively,” Cuban said. “I mean, teams were walking in and shooting better at the 3 than they were in the gym by themselves. So that had to change and stop. We didn’t have a lot of length at the point guard position, either. We needed to get a lot taller or a lot longer. Rajon’s the best of both. He’s not taller, but he’s so long that he’s as good as 6’4″ or 6’5″, so he can guard much bigger.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • With the acquisition of Rondo, Dallas still has four point guards on its roster, including Raymond Felton, who still hasn’t made his Mavs debut courtesy of his injured ankle. But coach Rick Carlisle says Felton is still a valuable member of the team, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News reports. “Ray’s working his butt off to get himself back to a point where we can activate him,” Carlisle said. “He’s getting closer. I don’t know if he’s quite there yet, but he’s getting closer. Listen he’s a valuable guy. He’s a starting caliber point guard in the NBA, so you got an extra guy like that on your team, that’s a strong position to be in, so you got to keep working. I’ve said all along we’re going to need him at some point.”
  • The Grizzlies have re-assigned Jarnell Stokes to the Iowa Energy, the franchise’s D-League affiliate, the team announced. The 20-year-old has posted totals of 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in 35 minutes over nine games with Memphis this season. This will be Stokes’ third sojourn  of the season to Iowa.
  • Dealing Brandan Wright to the Celtics as part of the Rondo trade has left the Mavs thin in the frontcourt. One possibility is for Dallas to sign free agent Jermaine O’Neal, and the Mavs are reportedly the front-runners for the big man’s services should he decide to play this season. But another option to replace Wright may already be on Dallas’ roster in the 6’10” form of Greg Smith, Sefko writes in a separate piece. “Greg Smith has been sitting here waiting for an opportunity,” Carlisle said. “So he steps up into the picture. He’s worked hard and he’ll get a chance. We need him at this point. Beyond that, we’ll keep our eyes open around the league for opportunities if there are some. We now have an open roster spot so as time goes forward, we’ll see what’s what.”

Bulls Trade Greg Smith To Mavs

MONDAY, 6:18pm: The Mavericks have announced that the trade is official. Dallas acquires Smith from the Bulls in exchange for the rights to Tadija Dragicevic.

9:24pm: Tim MacMahon of confirms the trade is happening, and is told that the Mavs will give up virtually nothing in the deal (Twitter link).

SATURDAY, 10:40pm: The Bulls are expected to trade Greg Smith to the Mavs by Monday, a league source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune confirms that a trade is in the works, but stops short of calling it a done deal (on Twitter). Chicago is looking to clear Smith’s salary, at just under $950K, to aid in their ongoing efforts in free agency.

Smith was signed by the Bulls after the Rockets waived the center during the season. The 23-year-old was injured at the time, arriving amid a slew of late-season pickups that gave the Bulls cap flexibility for this year while helping them reach the roster minimum. Details of compensation from Dallas are unknown, but they would likely be modest for a recovering player on a minimum contract.

Smith played in 70 games for Houston in the 2012/13 season, but that was sandwiched between a total of 19 appearances in his other two seasons in the NBA. If healthy, he could fill a need for Dallas, who were reportedly interested in re-signing fellow big man DeJuan Blair at the minimum salary.

And-Ones: Collins, Dumars, Farmar, Thomas

Sources identified a long list of potential NBA GM candidates to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.  Doug Collins, Mavs director of player personnel Tony Ronzone, Blazers director of college scouting Chad Buchanan, Bucks assistant GM David Morway, Nets assistant GM Bobby Marks, Knicks director of pro personnel Mark Hughes, Wizards director of player personnel Frank Ross, Pacers director of scouting Ryan Carr, Heat assistant GM Adam Simon, Magic assistant GM Matt Lloyd, Jazz assistant GM Justin Zanik, and Rockets executive VP of basketball ops Gersson Rosas all earned mentions.  Here’s tonight’s look around the Association..

  • The Kings have recalled Willie Reed from the Reno Bighorns, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (on Twitter).   The Bighorns were eliminated from the D-League playoffs on Sunday.
  • Some people familiar with Pistons exec Joe Dumars expect him to take some time off before pursuing another top executive role, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Jordan Farmar reiterated his interest in re-signing with the Lakers following the club’s 102-90 loss yesterday to the Grizzlies, writes Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News.  “Of course, I’d be a Laker,” Farmar said. “And if I was [General Manager] Mitch [Kupchak], I would sign me.”  The guard averaged 10.3 points and 4.8 assists despite playing in only 39 games this season due to injury.
  • The Bulls tried to lure Kurt Thomas to Chicago, but Marc Stein of hears that the big man considers himself retired.
  • The T’Wolves never had interest in putting in a waiver claim for Greg Smith, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.  Smith landed with the Bulls earlier today.
  • Who will be the biggest name traded this offseason?  The Basketball Insiders staff held a mini-debate and the names of Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, and Rajon Rondo all came up in conversation.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Bulls Sign Greg Smith

12:50pm: Smith’s contract is fully guaranteed for next season, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. It’s for the minimum salary both this year and next, since the capped-out Bulls are out of exceptions.

12:30pm: The Bulls have signed former Rockets center Greg Smith, the team announced. The move comes just a half hour after the team waived Tornike Shengeliapresumably to make room. Smith is likely out for the season after undergoing surgery on his right knee in January, and that motivated Houston to cut ties. He’s ineligible to play in the postseason for Chicago since the Rockets waived him last week, long after the March 1st deadline for him to retain the ability to take part in the playoffs with another team. Given his unavailability for this season, Chicago’s contract with Smith probably extends into next season.

Chicago strongly pursued the retired Kurt Thomas, but wound up inking Smith and, last week, Lou Amundson instead, tweets Marc Stein of That might have accounted for the lag between the team’s announcements today.

Smith appeared in only 11 games for the Rockets this year, in part because of injuries and in part because of a crowded frontcourt that includes Dwight Howard and Omer Asik. He was in the team’s rotation last season, averaging 6.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per game across 70 appearances, 10 of which were starts.

Western Notes: D’Antoni, Jazz, Lakers

The Lakers don’t want to bring back Mike D’Antoni for another season, and are looking for a “peaceful way” in which to part ways with their coach, writes Mitch Lawrence of The New York Daily News. D’Antoni has one season left on his contract at $4MM, with a team option for 2015/16. The team would prefer to not have to fire him, and instead are hoping for what Lawrence writes, is a “best case scenario.” This scenario would have another team asking permission to hire D’Antoni. Lawrence also notes that despite the rumors that the Lakers want to hire John Calipari as coach, his sources say the team has no interest in bringing the Kentucky head man aboard.

More from out west:

  • Greg Smith, who was released this week by the Rockets has officially cleared waivers and can sign with any team, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter link).
  • The Jazz need to pick up a superstar in order for the team to contend, writes Gordon Monson of The Salt Lake Tribune. He opines that the most likely way the team will do that is in this year’s lottery.
  • Nick Young said there is no benefit in the Lakers tanking during their last few games of the season, writes Dave McMenamin of Young said, “I know some teams believe they should tank. I know a lot of teams out there are probably doing it, because they believe this draft is going to be one of the biggest drafts that’s happened in a long time. But for me, I haven’t really paid attention to it. I think we’re not going out there just to lose for the draft because I think we still want to be in the league. These guys are coming in to take our spots, so, I’m not about to give up for somebody else to come in and take my spot.

Western Rumors: Bazemore, Camby, Rockets

The loss the Warriors suffered to the Nuggets on Thursday puts them just two games up on the ninth-place Grizzlies, and the Jazz, who own Golden State’s first-round pick, will surely be rooting for the Warriors to lose in the season’s final days. Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Kent Bazemore is set to become a restricted free agent at season’s end, and while his value appears to have surged since he joined the Lakers at the trade deadline, he’s not simply looking to cash in, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News observes. “I’m all about the basketball aspect of things. I don’t want much. I’m not a guy who’s going to chase money on a bad team. I want to win,” Bazemore said. “This is the Los Angeles Lakers. I don’t see many people turning down an opportunity to be here.”
  • The Rockets gauged Marcus Camby‘s interest in rejoining the team several weeks ago, only to learn that he would be unavailable to return to the NBA this year as he tries to come back from a left foot injury, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey confirmed that the conclusion that Greg Smith will miss the rest of the season led the team to waive him and sign Dexter Pittman, as Feigen passes along in the same piece.
  • The Rudy Gay trade muted the effect of Sacramento’s acquisition of Derrick Williams, who’s seen his playing time continue to decline of late, notes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Kings coach Michael Malone wants to give Williams more minutes, but his lack of consistency dissuades him from doing so, Jones writes.