Scottie Pippen

And-Ones: Oturu, Top Free Agents, Carter, Tournament

Former NBA center Daniel Oturu will soon join Anadolu Efes Istanbul, according to Oturu is averaging 20.9 points and 10.1 rebounds in nine games for Merkezefendi, another Turkish club.

Merkezefendi head coach Zafer Aktas confirmed Oturu’s transfer to the Euroleague club. “This is a proud moment for me and my team,” Aktas said. “This is the fourth or fifth player we have brought to the EuroLeague level in two-and-a-half years.”

Oturu, a high second-round pick in 2020, played a combined 33 NBA games for the Clippers and Raptors. Oturu didn’t play in the NBA last season.

We have more from the international basketball world:

  • Restricted Sixers free agent Tyrese Maxey tops Hoopshype’s Yossi Gozlan’s list of players who are due for substantial raises. Maxey appears to be in line for a five-year maximum-salary contract in the 2024 offseason. Unrestricted free-agents-to-be OG Anunoby and Nic Claxton rank second and third, respectively, in Gozlan’s top 15 list.
  • LeBron James’ business partner, Maverick Carter, was a client of a bookie who has pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from an illegal gambling operation, The Athletic’s Joe Vardon and Jovan Buha report. Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen and former Major League Baseball All-Star Yasiel Puig were also clients of the bookie, Wayne Nix, who pleaded guilty to participating in a large off-shore betting ring. Carter was accused, according to court filings reviewed by The Athletic, of providing false statements to investigators but was allowed to clarify those statements and was not charged.
  • In a roundtable discussion, ESPN’s Insiders takes a look at the in-season tournament, making predictions about the championship matchup, discussing how the inaugural tournament has worked so far, and addressing what changes might be needed in the future.

Knicks Notes: Rose, Anthony, Hornacek, Porzingis

Following brash remarks from Derrick Rose, the Knicks announced Carmelo Anthony (sore lower back), Lance Thomas (hip), and Rose would sit out tonight’s game against the Heat. Leading into Friday’s road match-up, D-Rose described the Knicks as a superior team to Miami.

“We’re more talented,” Rose told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “It shows basketball is a team sport. Any year in the league is about whoever catches a rhythm. No matter how your season is going… you can always catch a rhythm, they caught theirs at the right time, winning [13 in a row]. They have been playing great basketball ever since then. So we never caught that luck this year.”

More from The Mecca…

  • Jeff Hornacek sung a different tune than Rose, saying the Knicks have much to learn from Erik Spoelstra‘s Heat. “Use Miami as an example,’’ Hornacek told Marc Berman of the New York Post. “It’s old-school basketball. Bump and grab, and the referees are not going to call all of those. As long as they stay that aggressiveness all game long, they get away with those things. They have good stretches – get five, six, seven stops in a row and take the lead on you.’’
  • Kristaps Porzingis discussed the Knicks’ shortcomings in 2016/17, citing “consistency” as a major issue for the team. “We didn’t do it from the beginning the right way,” Porzingis told Fred Kerber of the New York Post“We didn’t have real fundamentals as a team and I think from the beginning it worked for us because we played based off our talent and based off good energy. Once things got a little tougher, we just didn’t have the fundamentals as a team.” Porzingis went on to say he had the team tabbed for a “six, seven, eight seed” finish.
  • Scottie Pippen aimed pointed criticism at Phil Jackson, saying his former coach should be pushed out of his job. “I just think he [Jackson] hasn’t put the right pieces on the floor,” Pippen said on ESPN program The Jump. “I give a lot of credit to Carmelo, who has been very professional in getting through this 82-game season, and now he’s being benched to some degree, they’ve taken a lot of his minutes away. This team really just hasn’t had it. They haven’t had it since Phil Jackson landed there. I’m sure the fans will love to see Carmelo in New York and Phil out.”
  • Stefan Bondy of the Daily News outlined ‘Melo’s dilemma: being too young for a mentor role, yet too old to be on a tanking team. “Anthony is only 32 years old, too young to serve as a mentor player/coach to the likes of Ron Baker, Maurice Ndour and Chasson Randle,” Bondy writes. “He knows that. There’s too much basketball left in his legs to take on a reduced role for the sake of a rebuild — for more losing and better lottery odds. To use Anthony’s words from Wednesday, “I see the writing on the wall.”

Eastern Rumors: Caboclo, Gortat, Bulls

With word of Joel Embiid‘s injury putting him on the shelf for longer than previously reported, and Dario Saric’s contract keeping him overseas for at least another year, both the Sixers first round draft picks might not play for Philadelphia in the 2014/15 season. Coach Brett Brown told reporters including Jason Wolf of USA Today Sports that he isn’t disappointed facing another season where the Sixers will likely finish at the bottom of the standings. “It is not even close to being demoralizing,” Brown said. “It just reconfirms in a more profound way that our words about trying to rebuild and being disciplined and patient went to a far greater level last night.” More from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Raptors had promised Bruno Caboclo that they would draft the off-the-radar Brazilian at No. 37 in December, and chose him with pick No. 20 when they discovered the Jazz and Suns were poised to snatch him before that, reports Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun.
  • Multiple teams are preparing to make a run at free agent Trevor Ariza, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Kennedy says the small forward’s stock is very high following a strong 2013/14 campaign.
  • Zach Lowe of Grantland suggests (on Twitter) Marcin Gortat is a player other than Kyle Lowry that could join the Heat if Miami gains cap flexibility.
  • The Cavs weren’t torn on whether to select Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker with the No. 1 pick in the draft, reports Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer. The actual conflict in Cleveland was whether or not to trade away the pick, writes Pluto.
  • Pistons president Stan Van Gundy tells Keith Langlois of that Detroit will target around 10 players when free agency begins on July 1, with a priority given to players on the wing, where Van Gundy believes Detroit to be thinnest (Twitter links).
  • Anthony Randolph was absorbed by the Bulls from their trade with the Nuggets via the trade exception they received from moving Luol Deng earlier this season, tweets Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times.
  • Scottie Pippen is now listed as a special advisor to the Bulls president and COO (H/T Adam Zagoria of Pippen had previously discussed working for the Knicks with Phil Jackson.

And-Ones: Draft, Sterling, Pippen

Doug McDermott came in at just over 6’6″ in height and 6’9″ in wingspan at the combine, measurements that a league executive tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News are “potentially disastrous” for the projected top-10 pick. Deveney thinks the forward will slip into the late lottery or worse. The measurements increase the concerns over his ability to defend at the wing we noted in our prospect profile of the Creighton All-American. Here’s a roundup of more of tonight’s notes from around the league:

  • Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh, Jerami Grant, Kyle Anderson, and DeAndre Daniels all turned out average or better measurements in wingspan, per Deveney. Randle’s length was of particular concern prior to the combine, as we noted in our prospect profile of the Kentucky forward.
  • Nik Stauskas unexpectedly sat out combine drills today, telling reporters including Brendan F. Quinn of that he had little to gain by demonstrating his established shooting skills. Instead, the shooting guard hopes to prove his stock through physical testing and interviews at the combine.
  • The league likely won’t take action to strip the Clippers from Donald Sterling until after the season, reports Michael McMann of in a piece outlining the steps the NBA will take to perform the ouster.
  • McCann says that a divorce between the Sterlings, or any other attempts to complicate the legal process, likely won’t hinder the league’s efforts based on straightforward CBA provisions for ownership transition.
  • Donald Sterling’s lawyer sent a letter to the league, threatening to sue the NBA and informing the league of his client’s refusal to pay the $2.5MM fine levied against him by Adam Silver, McCann reports in a separate piece.
  • The fine was already past due, and failure to pay should actually bolster the league’s case, tweets Larry Coon of Basketball Insiders.
  • Scottie Pippen is considering an offer to work for the Knicks, possibly as an assistant coach, according to a report from Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Coaching Rumors: Jazz, Knicks

The Jazz do not currently have a timeline set for finding their new head coach, writes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. Genessy adds that GM Dennis Lindsey is entering uncharted territory, as the only time he had been involved in a head coaching search was in 2003 with the Rockets, when he assisted then-GM Carroll Dawson as vice president of basketball operations. Despite his inexperience, Lindsey insisted that the search will be conducted with the “right professional decorum” and later added:

“…we’ll meet quickly, internally…We’ll set some criteria. We’ll look at some objective measures. We’ll look at some subjective measures about coaches and who’s going to be the new leader of the Utah Jazz and define some timelines about who we’re going to interview.”

According to Genessy, the new coaching hire will be decided on as a group that includes Lindsey, Jazz owner Gail Miller, CEO Greg Miller, Miller Sports Properties president Steve Miller, team president Randy Rigby, executive VP of basketball operations Kevin O’Connor, and CFO Bob Hyde.

You can read more coaching-related links below:

  • Genessy mentions that in addition to Jazz assistant Brad Jones, Lindsey has close ties with Jeff Van Gundy (who the Rockets ultimately hired to succeed Rudy Tomjanovich in 2003), Suns assistant Mike Longabardi, and Bulls assistant Andy Greer. Along with Jones, Genessy lists Jim Boylen and Ettore Messina as possible candidates, just as we had noted from Mike Monroe of the San Antonio-Express News and ESPN’s Marc Stein earlier today.
  • Former Bulls player Bill Wennington tells Newsday’s Al Iannazzone that Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson would fit together well in New York: “Their history together and just the way they work together and have worked together in the past with the offense and everything is a good combination…To me it’s a no-brainer.” Though Wennington admits that he has an interest in coaching, he tells Iannazzone that he hasn’t spoken to Jackson about possibly joining the Knicks.
  • Iannazzone lists Frank Hamblen, Jim Cleamons, Bill Cartwright, Scottie Pippen, Kurt Rambis, and Derek Fisher as a few names who could join the Knicks in some capacity at some point. As Marc Berman of the New York Post mentioned earlier, Ron Harper could surface on the team’s radar as well.

Odds & Ends: Bobcats, Smith, D-League, Pippen

Earlier this week, we heard that there were a number of teams that at least touched base with the Thunder about James Harden before he was traded to the Rockets. We can add the Bobcats to that list as well, as owner Michael Jordan tells Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that his team "made a couple calls" about Harden's availability. Jordan, who says he's "in it for the long haul" as Bobcats owner, adds that he believes Charlotte can still be an attractive destination for free agents down the road, though he acknowledges the team needs to get its house in order first.

Here are a few more notes from around the NBA, as the Thunder and Spurs prepare for the only game on tonight's schedule:

  • On the heels of some surprising contract extensions, Tom Ziller of shares his five rules for teams thinking about extending players.
  • Nolan Smith tells Chris Haynes of that he understands the Blazers' cap situation and has no problem with the team's decision to turn down his 2013/14 option, adding that he views it as a "blessing in disguise" (Twitter links).
  • A few intriguing names will be in camp with the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics' D-League affiliate, as Chris Forsberg of Xavier Silas, Micah Downs, Chris Wright, and Chamberlain Oguchi are among the invitees.
  • Nets GM Billy King tells Newsday's Roderick Boone that one of the lessons he learned at his previous job in Philadelphia: "At the end, I was just trying to keep my job. Once you start trying to keep your job and not do it, it's not going to work."
  • The Bulls have appointed Scottie Pippen a Senior Advisor to the President and COO of the team, according to an official release.

Odds & Ends: Harden, Gay, Wolves, Mavs, Gibson

We're a few days removed from the Rockets' acquisition of James Harden, but that doesn't mean that reaction pieces or additional details have stopped rolling in. Today, Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wonders if the Thunder got as much for Harden as the Magic did for Dwight Howard, and DeMar DeRozan talks to Eric Koreen of the National Post about how he, Harden, and other members of the 2009 draft class approach their contract situations. Meanwhile, Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game hears from one GM that Sam Presti didn't canvass the entire league for the best deal for Harden, presumably since Presti didn't want to create an avalanche of rumors (Twitter link). And finally, Bill Simmons of Grantland adds that Harden and his agent were seeking a 15% trade kicker as part of extension talks with the Thunder.

Now that we've rounded up today's Harden-related links, let's turn to the afternoon's non-Harden notes:

  • Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld examines a few players who could be trade candidates between now and the deadline, including Rudy Gay, who Kennedy says would be open to a move.
  • The Timberwolves have inquired on the recently-waived JaJuan Johnson, but don't figure to be a match, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
  • Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star Telegram spoke to Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson about a number of topics, including the team's chemistry with so many new players on board.
  • Extension talks between Taj Gibson and the Bulls are ongoing and are expected to push up against tomorrow's 11:00pm CT deadline, says Ken Berger of CBS Sports (Twitter links).
  • Scottie Pippen is interesting in eventually becoming a head coach in the NBA, as he told The Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago ( has the details and quotes).
  • Mark Deeks of ShamSports tweets the details on a pair of contract buyouts: Jordan Williams will receive $420K from Atlanta after being waived by the Hawks, while Keyon Dooling will receive $400K from the Celtics following his retirement.
  • Dionte Christmas, who was released by the Celtics this month, appears headed for CSKA Moscow, according to (hat tip to Sportando).
  • A Spurs' second-round pick in 2009, Jack McClinton is hoping to earn a spot in the D-League this year and eventually receive an NBA call-up, writes David Pick at

Phil Jackson Calls Knicks Roster ‘Clumsy’

9:19am: As part of the "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" interview, Jackson called the possibility of working with the Magic "one of the best opportunities in the game right now," but ultimately concluded that he wants to remain in the western part of the country, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. The plan Sam Vincent was pushing for Orlando would have brought Jackson into a lead front office role, with Scottie Pippen as coach and Vincent also a part of the front-office staff. Pippen tried to get Jackson to go along with the plan, but the arrangement wasn't endorsed by Magic officials, who never met with Jackson.

FRIDAY, 8:10pm: Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson spoke candidly about the current state of the Knicks during a television interview set to air on Tuesday, reports Michael O'Keeffe of the New York Daily News. Jackson told Andrea Kremer of "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" that he wasn't interested in coaching the Knicks and was glad that owner James Dolan never called him. While Jackson admitted coaching at the Garden is something he has definitely thought about, the former Bulls and Lakers head coach described the team's present roster as "clumsy," specifically the dynamic between the team's two best players.

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Phil Jackson Renews Interest In Magic Position

6:19pm: According to's David Aldridge, "both the agents for Phil Jackson and an Orlando Magic source denied Wednesday any contact between the parties on a potential kingmaker role for Jackson with the Magic organization."

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