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Scola Doesn’t See Himself Returning To NBA

In an interview with TSN 1050 Toronto, former Raptors forward Luis Scola said that he doesn’t see himself playing another season in the NBA. The 36-year-old didn’t rule it out altogether, however.

Over the course of 10 seasons, the big man established himself as a consistently underrated threat, his best year as a pro being the 2010/11 campaign in which he averaged 18.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game for the Rockets.

In 2016/17, Scola played sparingly for the Nets, an anticlimatic cap on an effective, if unspectacular NBA career.

Although he never earned any All-Star appearances, the big man rode a deft shooting stroke to solid career per-36 numbers and even an Olympic gold medal when he teamed with Manu Ginobili to lead Argentina in 2004.

Alas, given the ever changing NBA landscape, especially for relatively slow big men, Scola seems pretty convinced that he won’t be back playing professional basketball stateside.

I like to play, it’s just that the NBA  became too difficult for me,” Scola said, age no doubt also being a factor for the man who didn’t arrive in the NBA until age 27. “The roles that are out there for me just aren’t as appealing, I don’t enjoy them as much.

Paul Millsap Says He’ll ‘Likely’ Opt Out

Less than a day after Atlanta’s exit from the postseason, Hawks forward Paul Millsap admitted that he’ll “most likely” opt out of his upcoming player option for the 2017/18 season, says Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

After making $20.1MM in 2016/17, Millsap will turn down the player option that would have paid him $21.5MM in 2017/18.

The 32-year-old was involved in a substantial amount of trade rumors and speculation this year but ultimately stayed in Atlanta where he helped guide the Hawks to their 10th consecutive playoff berth.

The Hawks appeared to be headed toward an inevitable rebuild before ultimately choosing to hang on to their cornerstone and risk losing him for nothing as opposed to dealing him for parts.

Although there is the possibility that Millsap ends up back in Atlanta, he’ll command considerable attention on the market after averaging 18.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the Hawks.

Dante Cunningham Declines Player Option

Forward Dante Cunningham has declined his player option with the Pelicans, Chris Haynes of ESPN tweets. The 30-year-old veteran will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

In 66 games for the Pels this season, Cunningham averaged 6.6 points per game. Although he’s never been much of a focal point during his three seasons in New Orleans, he’s established himself as a reliable rotation player.

Given that the veteran made just $3.0MM last season and was slated for only a modest raise in 2017/18 ($3.1MM), it’s no surprise that Cunningham opted out of the deal.

It’s not clear how much interest he’ll draw on the market but he’s a valuable addition to any club looking to add a consistent veteran, including the Pelicans themselves should they wish to pursue a new deal with the forward.

Baskonia Parts Ways With Andrea Bargnani

Former first overall pick Andrea Bargnani is back on the free agent market, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who writes that Spanish team Baskonia has officially parted ways with Bargnani. The two sides agreed to a two-year contract back in 2016, but have reached a buyout agreement that will bring the deal to an early end.

Injuries impacted Bargnani’s ability to contribute to Baskonia in 2016/17, limiting him to just 15 Euroleague games and 14 contests in Spanish League play. When he was able to get on the court, he was a decent role player for Baskonia, joining fellow former NBA players like Shane Larkin, Rodrigue Beaubois, Tornike Shengelia, and Josh Akognon among the club’s leading scorers.

Although he’s still just 31 years old and is only a year removed from appearing in 46 games for the 2015/16 Nets, Bargnani seems unlikely to seek a return to the NBA when he gets healthy.

The former Raptor, Knick, and Net, who was the first player off the board in the 2006 draft, averaged a respectable 14.3 PPG in 550 career regular season NBA games, but saw his minutes cut back significantly during his final season in the Association. His best chance at a regular role going forward would be on a European club.

We first learned over the weekend that Bargnani and Baskonia were discussing a buyout.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 4/25/17

Here are Tuesday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • In what could be the last D-League assignments of the season, Bruno Caboclo, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet have been sent to the Raptors 905 by the Raptors, the team announced today (Twitter link). Toronto’s D-League affiliate will look to extend the NBADL Finals to a third and deciding game with a win tonight, and VanVleet – who appeared briefly at the end of the Raptors’ win over Milwaukee on Monday – will Caboclo and Siakam as added reinforcements.
  • The Raptors 905’s opponent in the D-League Finals, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, likely won’t make any moves today — Kyle Wiltjer, Chinanu Onuaku, and Isaiah Taylor have been assigned to the Vipers for the last 10 days and will presumably remain with the Rockets‘ D-League affiliate as the club looks to clinch the NBADL title.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 4/24/17

Here are today’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • After a Raptors 905 loss in the first game of the NBA D-League Finals on Sunday, Bruno Caboclo and Pascal Siakam have been recalled to Toronto by the Raptors, the team announced today (Twitter link). Caboclo and Siakam figure to remain with the NBA club for tonight’s playoff game before being re-assigned to the Raptors 905 for Game 2 of the championship round on Tuesday. Since the NBADL’s series are best-of-three, Tuesday’s game could be the last of the D-League season.

Beijing Ducks, Stephon Marbury Part Ways

After winning three Chinese Basketball Association championships in six years with the Beijing Ducks, former NBA All-Star guard Stephon Marbury is no longer a member of the team, per Qiushi Li of ESPN. The Ducks held a 2017/18 team option on Marbury as a player or an assistant coach, but the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on his role, prompting the club to terminate the contract.

“We agreed that I would leave this season and the door is always open to coach,” Marbury tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “They had the option for me to play or coach, and they wanted me to coach. It’s understandable at my age, but my age doesn’t dictate my game. This gives me strong desire to work hard and try my best to come back to help a team win a [championship].”

Marbury, who turned 40 in February, explained in a letter to fans on Weibo that Beijing has not yet decided on a head coach for next season, making it difficult for him to accept an assistant coaching role with the club. Marbury also wants to continue playing for at least one more season, having previously announced his plans to retire as a player in 2018, and he expects to draw interest from other CBA teams.

A former fourth overall pick in the NBA, Marbury hasn’t played in the Association since he appeared in 23 games for the Celtics during the 2008/09 season. However, he became an international sensation in China, particularly after joining the Ducks in 2011. He was perennially among the CBA’s scoring leaders, and has won the league’s Foreign MVP award and the CBA Finals MVP award.

Although Marbury has spent most of the last decade in China, he recently expressed a desire to return to the NBA down the road as a coach.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 4/20/17

Here are the D-League transactions for the day:

  • The Raptors recalled forwards Bruno Caboclo and Pascal Siakam from Raptors 905, the team’s media relations department tweets. Neither player was active for Game 3 of Toronto’s playoff game against the Bucks on Thursday. Siakam had 15 points and 10 rebounds against the Maine Red Claws on Wednesday as Raptors 905 advanced to the D-League Finals. Caboclo scored 16 points in the 103-88 victory.
  • The Celtics recalled big man Jordan Mickey and point guard Demetrius Jackson from the Maine Red Claws, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Mickey had 13 points and nine rebounds against Raptors 905, while Jackson contributed 21 points and five assists in the season-ending loss.
  • The Thunder recalled forward Josh Huestis from the Oklahoma City Blue, the team announced in a press release. Huestis had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds during Wednesday’s 102-114 season- ending loss to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He averaged 17.7 PPG and 6.7 RPG in six postseason games with the Blue.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls 4/19/17

Toronto’s D-League affiliate, the Raptors 905, beat the Maine Red Claws tonight to win the D-League’s Eastern Conference and advance to the finals. Pascal Siakam, who was assigned to the D-League earlier today (via the team’s Twitter feed), contributed to the win, scoring 15 points. The victory caps off a great day for the franchise, as its coach, Jerry Stackhouse, was named the D-League Coach of the Year this afternoon.

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