Nemanja Nedovic

Western Notes: Gee, Mills, Nedovic, Ballmer

The players union encourages agents to negotiate contract guarantee dates into non-guaranteed deals for their clients in part to help ward off what happened to Alonzo Gee this summer, writes Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Teams played hot potato with Gee’s contract, which was to remain non-guaranteed until the leaguewide guarantee date in January, and the Kings waived him late last month, in time for him to receive no more than another non-guaranteed pact for the minimum salary with the Nuggets. Gee’s agent Happy Walters didn’t represent the small forward when he signed the contract that teams passed around via trade this summer, and vows to Lowe that he’ll never let a player agree to a non-guaranteed deal without a guarantee date, though it’s unclear what guarantee dates, if any, are involved in Gee’s arrangement with Denver. While we wait to see how that dynamic plays out around the league, and whether Gee can crack the Nuggets opening-night roster, here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Hornets planned to pursue Patrick Mills last summer but backed off when he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff just as free agency was beginning, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Mills re-signed with the Spurs for three years and $11MM.
  • Agent Misko Raznatovic is skeptical that the Warriors are giving a fair shot to Nemanja Nedovic, the 30th overall pick in 2013, as Raznatovic tells Saša Ozmo of the Serbian website B92 (Ozmo provides an English translation on TwitLonger). I don’t know if he’s going to get a proper chance,” Raznatovic said. “They’re promising he will, but we’ll see, he’s had a lot of injuries. I hope everything is going to be all right.” A decision on Nedovic’s third-year team option is due by October 31st.
  • New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer insists he won’t micromanage coach/executive Doc Rivers as he runs the basketball operations for the team and doesn’t agree with the notion that $2 billion was too much to pay for the team, as Ballmer tells USA Today’s Sam Amick. Ballmer also says to Amick that he intends to own the team “until essentially I die.”

Pacific Notes: Thompson, Love, Nedovic, Scott

The Warriors’ reluctance to include Klay Thompson in any trade talks with the Wolves allowed Cleveland to beat out Golden State in the Kevin Love sweepstakes. The W’s will put forth a solid group next year nonetheless, but it’s one that will look largely the same as last year’s cast that got bounced by the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. Let’s round up the latest from the west coast..

  • Dealing for Love would have been a defining moment in Bob Myers‘ tenure as Warriors GM, argues Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News, who isn’t sure the decision to hang on to Klay Thompson was the right course of action. The Bay Area News scribe thinks that if Thompson and Harrison Barnes can develop into stud players, then Myers will have made the right choice.
  • Nemanja Nedovic‘s foot injury likely won’t force him to miss extended time, as Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters, including Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group. Golden State signed Aaron Craft to a partially guaranteed deal yesterday, presumably as a backup plan if Nedovic isn’t ready for the start of the 2014/15 season.
  • First-year Lakers coach Byron Scott wouldn’t go as far as to suggest his team would make the playoffs in the upcoming season, but he spoke on The Dan Patrick Show and said the Lakers were going to surprise LA-naysayers, writes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times.

Western Notes: Warriors, Rockets, Wolves

The Warriors have until October 31st to decide if they will exercise Nemanja Nedovic’s $1.15MM third-year option for the 2015/16 season, writes Tim Kawakami of The Bay Area News Group. The deadline is tricky for the team because Nedovic hasn’t performed all that well in the Summer League this year, and the franchise wants to maintain as much financial flexibility as possible heading into free agency next summer, notes Kawakami. One major determining factor in what the team decides in regards to Nedovic is the play of undrafted rookie and Warriors summer leaguer Aaron Craft. If Craft shows he’s capable of being the third point guard for the Warriors, then Nedovic will be expendable, according to Kawakami.

More from the west:

  • Chandler Parsons believes the Rockets undervalued what he could do on the court and that they figured they could get him back for a cheaper price, writes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Parsons was surprised that Houston didn’t match the offer sheet the Mavericks signed him to, saying “I definitely was a little surprised that they didn’t match. I thought that was the plan going forward that they were going to match. But I think [agent] Dan Fegan and my agency … did a great job with this contract and really put pressure on them. They decided what they thought was best for their future and they told me to go get my best individual contract, and we both did what we thought was best for ourselves.”
  • Dwight Howard doesn’t believe the departure of Parsons will impact the Rockets’ title hopes for next season, writes “It won’t affect us at all,” Howard said. “We have myself and James [Harden],” Howard said. “We have the best center and the best two guard in the game on the same team. It’s on us.” Howard also praised the signing of Trevor Ariza, saying, “He’ll go through a wall for you. Just to have soldiers on your team like that is great. We have that one-two punch with me and James. We’re filling out our roster with guys who are willing to go through that wall and doing whatever it takes to win.”
  • The Timberwolves now hold all the cards in the Kevin Love trade talks, writes Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press.

Pacific Rumors: Draft, Kuzmic, Nedovic

While the Lakers remain without a coach, Doc Rivers has assumed the role of president of basketball operations with the Clippers. The Lakers, with the No. 7 pick and a bare bones roster, figure to be considerably more busy as the offseason unfolds. Here’s a rundown of the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers and Kings are the lottery teams most receptive to making a deal with their draft picks, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.
  • Warriors director of scouting Larry Riley updates Diamond Leung of Bay Area News Group on the prospects for Golden State’s Ognjen Kuzmic and Nemanja Nedovic next year. “Kuzmic is long,” Riley said. “You know, if you ask me which one of them has a better chance that in three years, they’re a player who’s a roster player who’s a contributor, I’d probably go with the big guy, but I still wouldn’t give up on Nedovic…I think they can contribute short minutes. They’re still developing, and they have to get better in order to do any more than play short minutes.”
  • Suns GM Ryan McDonough tells that Phoenix won’t draft a player based solely on his ability to contribute immediately. “Just because we were close to the playoffs, we’re not going to draft a guy just because he’s able to play right away,” McDonough said. “I think that’s where a lot of mistakes get made.”

Pacific Rumors: Lakers, Bledsoe, Warriors, Kings

Mike D’Antoni didn’t exactly endear himself to Lakers fans when he revealed that he was unaware of the draft lottery implications of the team’s game against the Jazz on Monday night, as Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding chronicles. The Lakers are the sixth-worst team in the league, as our Reverse Standings show, but they could have moved into a three-way tie for fourth with a loss. Here’s more on the Lakers and their Pacific Division rivals:

Western Notes: Kobe, Mavs, Johnson

Kobe Bryant endorses the Knicks hiring of Phil Jackson despite his well-documented disappointment with the Lakers front office for not bringing Jackson back to Los Angeles. In an article by Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles, Bryant said, “I just think his mentorship shifts. I think it goes from having a direct influence on the players themselves to having a direct influence on the coaching staff, which he’s accustomed to doing because that’s how he coached as well. He really had a great rapport with his coaching staff and he was really a great mentor for them, and I’m sure he’ll do the same thing and it will just kind of trickle down from there. It’s really no different from what Pat [Riley] has been able to do in Miami with [Erik] Spoelstra.” According to the article, Bryant also believes that Jackson will be able to help Carmelo Anthony improve as a player. On what Phil can do for ‘Melo, Bryant said, “Phil will be able to provide that knowledge and he’ll learn more about the game and open up dimensions of the game that he never saw before. So, he’ll just continue to improve.”

More from out west:

  • The Kings had appeared likely to keep 10-day signee Orlando Johnson for the season, but the team has decided against doing so, notes Matt Kawahara of The Sacramento Bee. Johnson’s second 10-day contract expired Monday.
  • The Warriors have assigned Nemanja Nedovic and Ognjen Kuzmic to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA D-League the team has announced. Both players had just been recalled from the D-League yesterday and played in last night’s victory over the Magic.
  • If the Mavericks are able to sign a proven big man after the season, the player most likely to lose his roster spot is DeJuan Blair, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Sefko also says that proven big man target is most likely to be Marcin Gortat.
  • In a separate article, Sefko writes that he thinks the Mavs would be well served to pursue Gortat as well as Luol Deng after the season. Both players will be free agents and would fit nicely in the team’s system. Sefko also thinks that Kyle Lowry will be another player the team will take a look at signing, and believes he is ready to be a lead guard on a “top-shelf” playoff team.

And-Ones: Rookie Scale, Griffin, Coaches

Phil Jackson and the Knicks have dominated headlines today, but that’s not the only story in the NBA. Here’s the latest from around the league, with four weeks and a day to go before the end of the regular season:

  • Grantland’s Zach Lowe noted earlier that there are several draft-related ideas the league is kicking around to remove the incentive teams have to tank, and another is increasing rookie scale salaries, Lowe adds via Twitter.
  • Everyone who signed with the Clippers this year was banking on Blake Griffin developing into a top-five player, and Griffin has been validating their decisions, as Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins writes.
  • Precisely half of the league’s head coaches played primarily at point guard in the NBA, college or both, while three more played both guard positions, notes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, who examines why this is so.
  • Warriors coach Mark Jackson is vilified for some of the same coaching traits that Phil Jackson drew adulation for, Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher opines.
  • The Warriors have recalled Nemanja Nedovic and Ognjen Kuzmic from the D-League, the team announced via press release. Nedovic was in the D-League for the past six days, but Kuzmic returns after a stint that began February 21st.
  • The Cavs have recalled Sergey Karasev from the D-League’s Canton Charge, the Charge announced via Twitter. The 19th overall pick in the 2013 draft has appeared in 18 D-League games this year, almost as many as the 20 he’s played for Cleveland.

D-League Notes: Bowles, Williams, Nedovic

The Iowa Energy – who share an NBA affiliation with the Bulls, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Pelicans, and Wizards – have acquired center Denzel Bowles (Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest reports). The 6’10 big man was previously a member of the Pelicans’ (then-Hornets) summer league team in 2012/13, where he averaged 7.2 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 16.1 MPG. Most recently, Bowles played in China before entering the D-League player pool.

Here are a few more NBDL-related notes worth passing along tonight:

  • The Thunder announced via press release that forward Reggie Williams has been recalled from the Tulsa 66ers. Oklahoma City assigned Williams to the D-League earlier today before announcing his recall. Williams has yet to see action with the Thunder on the 10-day deal he signed Thursday, but he had 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in today’s matinee for Tulsa.
  • The Warriors announced earlier today that they’ve recalled Nemanja Nedovic from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBDL.
  • The Cavaliers have recalled Sergey Karasev from the Canton Charge, according to the team’s official Twitter account.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Fisher, Warriors, Barbosa

Thunder guard Derek Fisher has said that he plans on calling it quits after this season, but Kevin Durant plans on speaking with his family this offseason about allowing him to delay his retirement, writes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.  Ramona Shelburne of (on Twitter) adds that the last time she spoke to Fisher, he joked that retirement was still the plan but he’d “go to Montana for a week after the year, then decide.” More from the Western Conference..

  • The Warriors announced that they have assigned guard Nemanja Nedovic to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League.  Nedovic has appeared in seven games (five starts) for Santa Cruz this season, compiling averages of 15.6 points, 3.7 assists, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.14 steals in 26.6 minutes.
  • Leandro Barbosa, who is recovering from a hand injury, doesn’t expect to return until the playoffs, the guard told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.  The 31-year-old is averaging 7.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG, and 1.6 APG in 18.4 minutes per game this season for the Suns.
  • The Blazers announced that they have assigned rookie guard Allen Crabbe to the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede.  The 21-year-old is averaging 2.0 points, 0.2 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 4.9 minutes in 12 games for the Trail Blazers this season. Acquired by Portland in a draft day trade with Cleveland, Crabbe was the 31st overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft out of California

Pacific Rumors: Nash, Granger, Warriors

Steve Nash, who’s likely out for the season, doesn’t think GM Mitch Kupchak‘s recent comment that it would be “unethical” for the team not to let the point guard determine his own future with the club is a guarantee he won’t be waived. Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News has more. “You never know what the case is in a month or two weeks physically from a club standpoint and from my standpoint,” Nash said. “When you’re looking at potentially the last few months of your career, I didn’t want that to slide by without getting back on the court. It motivated me. Who knows now.”  More from around the Pacific Division..

  • Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) confirms that Danny Granger‘s deal with the Clippers is a one-year pact for the prorated minimum.  It was widely assumed that this was the case after Granger and the Sixers agreed to a buyout, springing him loose for the rest of the season and postseason.
  • Warriors veteran Jermaine O’Neal is taking one last shot at winning a ring, writes Diamond Leung of the Mercury News.  The Warriors big man says he can envision a scenario this offseason in which he can’t get into the proper frame of mind to start training for another season.
  • The Warriors and the San Francisco Giants could team up to get a new basketball arena built near AT&T Park, write Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle.  The W’s say they’re still going “full steam ahead” with the Piers 30-32 project, but they’re also considering fallback options.
  • The Warriors announced that they have assigned Nemanja Nedovic to their D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz.  Nedovic has appeared in five games (all starts) for Santa Cruz this season, compiling averages of 19.0 points, 3.6 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.60 steals in 29.2 minutes.