Will Conroy

Free Agent Notes: Rondo, Wolves, Gasol

The Pelicans could still make a push for signing Rajon Rondo even after securing an agreement with E’Twaun Moore, John Reid of The Times Picayune writes. Reid acknowledges that there are other teams in the mix for Rondo and New Orleans appears to be a long-shot. There were conflicting reports on Friday as to whether the team was interested in Rondo.

Reid confirms an earlier report that the Pelicans were interested in Jeremy Lin, but the point guard’s price was too steep for the team. Lin signed a three-year, $36MM deal with Brooklyn on Friday.

Here’s more from around the league during this crazy start to free agency:

Odds & Ends: Griffin, Green, Draft, Heat

The Nuggets and Grizzlies once offered their GM jobs to Cavs interim GM David Griffin, notes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, so Cleveland doesn’t exactly have an obscure talent at the helm as the trade deadline nears. Wojnarowski’s piece details some of the missteps of Griffin’s predecessor, Chris Grant, and points to the strong desire that Kyrie Irving held in 2012 for the team to draft Harrison Barnes rather than Dion Waiters. We passed along more from Wojnarowski in a pair of posts last night, and we’ll round up the latest from the NBA here:

  • Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report hears the Celtics are unlikely to move Jeff Green and have their eyes on building around Green, Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger (Twitter link).
  • Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com thinks Marcus Smart‘s fan-shoving incident has hurt his stock, but the main reason Goodman has Smart at No. 14 in his Insider-only mock draft is because his outside shot hasn’t improved. Goodman also details Bucks GM John Hammond‘s fondness for Joel Embiid and notes Thunder GM Sam Presti‘s affinity for Syracuse forward C.J. Fair.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel wonders if the Heat‘s decision to start Toney Douglas Tuesday night was a chance for the team to see what it has in him before the trade deadline. A Tuesday morning report suggested the Heat are prepared to waive Douglas if a more attractive option comes along.
  • The Nuggets aren’t likely to be particularly active at the deadline, writes Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post, but even if they are, coach Brian Shaw says he won’t have much input on the team’s personnel decisions until after the season.
  • Three-year NBA veteran Will Conroy, who played briefly for the Timberwolves last season, has signed with Rasta Vechta of Germany, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Conroy recently parted ways with another German team.

Odds & Ends: Camby, Rookies, Conroy

Going into the 2013 NBA draft, experts had viewed it as one of the weakest in recent memory. There was no franchise savior available, and the lottery was looked on as a guessing game at best. A little more than halfway through the season, the rookie class hasn’t done anything to dispel this notion. Outside of Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, there hasn’t been much rookie production. Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders.com believes there are five rookies who might be able to turn their seasons around. The players he examines in the piece are Anthony Bennett, Cody Zeller, Ben McLemore, Alex Len, and Otto Porter.

More from around the league:

  • Free agent center Marcus Camby is progressing in his rehabilitation from foot surgery and expects to be fully healthy by February’s end to join an NBA team, a league source told Shams Charania of RealGM. The 39-year-old, who would become the second-oldest player in the league behind Steve Nash, averaged 1.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in 24 games with the Knicks last season.
  • German team Medi Bayreuth and Will Conroy have parted ways, according to an announcement on the club’s official website translated by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.  The 31-year-old, who was averaging 5.2 PPG across nine games, is already working out with another German team and is likely to sign for the rest of the season, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com.
  • A Western Conference executive tells Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News that he expects more coaches to lose their jobs now that Maurice Cheeks has lost his. That’s a grim sign for Mike Woodson, Lawrence observes.
  • It was previously thought that the NBPA would vote on a new union leader in New Orleans during the All-Star break but the latest signals suggest that won’t take place, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. There’s a push from some in the union to start the search over from scratch.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Minor Moves: Baynes, De Colo, Spurs, Conroy

Today’s minor moves..

  • The Spurs assigned center Aron Baynes, guard Nando De Colo, and forward Malcolm Thomas to the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.  Baynes has appeared in 11 games for the Spurs this season, averaging 1.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 7.9 minutes.  De Colo has seen action in six contests this season for the Silver and Black, averaging 2.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 9.0 minutes.  Thomas was recently signed by the Spurs on Dec. 3 and will make his first appearance for the Toros this season.  To keep up with all of this year’s D-League assignments, check out Hoops Rumors’ running list.
  • Point guard Will Conroy has signed to play in Germany with BBC Bayreuth, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia notes.  Conroy appeared in four games with the Timberwolves last season, but the close friend of Brandon Roy wasn’t in an NBA camp this fall.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Garcia, Madsen, Conroy, Hornacek

In a twist, the Western Conference playoff game preceded the Eastern Conference tilt on today's schedule. The Grizzlies beat the Thunder to claim a 2-1 series lead, while the Knicks and Pacers are under way in Indiana. The Eastern matchup prompted rare non-Sunday coverage from ABC, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of intriguing storylines out west, where the latest Kings developments are threatening to steal the show. Here's more from the conference that won this year's All-Star Game:

  • Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com suggests (via Twitter) that Francisco Garcia could be an offseason target for the Lakers. The Rockets currently hold a $6.4MM option on Garcia, but Houston is extremely unlikely to exercise it, so the 31-year-old appears ticketed for unrestricted free agency.
  • The next head coach of the Lakers' D-League affiliate could be a familiar face for Lakers fans. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Mark Madsen is finalizing an agreement to become the D-Fenders' new coach.
  • Will Conroy, a close friend of Brandon Roy, began the season on Minnesota's playing roster, but he finished the season as a Timberwolves scout. Flip Saunders fired Conroy and another scout with ties to Roy this week, notes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. The Wolves waived Roy on Friday.
  • The only way the Jazz can hold on to assistant coach Jeff Hornacek, a candidate for head coaching jobs elsewhere, would be to replace Tyrone Corbin with him, and that's not going to happen, writes Gordon Monson of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Roy, Conroy, Fisher

Here are some quick notes out of the Western Conference tonight:
  • Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee tweets that DeMarcus Cousins has decided to hire Dan Fegan as his new agent, replacing John Grieg. Two of Fegan's most notable clients include Kevin Martin of the Thunder and Lakers center Dwight Howard (All Twitter links).
  • In what should be encouraging news for the Timberwolves and their fans, Brandon Roy returned to practice today and reported that he felt no pain in his knee (Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune reports). The veteran two-guard had been inactive since undergoing surgery on his right knee last month and hadn't played since November 9.
  • Will Conroy was at Minnesota's practice today, but attended as a special assistant to David Kahn and not as a candidate to re-join the team as a player, says Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press. The 6'2 guard and close friend of Brandon Roy had been released earlier in the season in order to make room for recently-waived Josh Howard. According to Kahn, Conroy will serve as the team's D-League scout before returning to Seattle to finish his school degree.
  • When asked about Derek Fisher being waived, coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters to ask GM Mitch Kupchak if the team had any interest in the former Lakers guard (according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles via Twitter). Although we heard an earlier report that Fisher was contemplating retirement, Ramona Shelburne (also of ESPN LA) tweeted that in the event that he would still continue playing, any team who signs him would have to inherit the non-guaranteed deal he signed with the Mavericks
  • Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas provides the current rundown of Rick Carlisle's point guard situation following Fisher's abrupt departure. 
  • Alex Kramers of TheKingsBlog.com elicited the reaction from the Kings locker room as they prepare to compete without DeMarcus Cousins. Coach Keith Smart told the media that the situation will be reassessed within the next few days. On a different and much lighter note, Kramers delves a bit into the minor ties between Jimmer Fredette and the Warriors' Stephen Curry

Odds & Ends: Wolves, Rockets, Stern, Thunder

The "Battle of the Boroughs" was all anyone wanted to talk about just a few short weeks ago, but the Nets' recent slide has taken much of the juice out of their renewed rivalry with the Knicks.  Here's a glimpse around the league as the Knicks have padded their lead in the Atlantic Division..

Timberwolves Sign Josh Howard

FRIDAY, 10:29am: Howard has officially signed with the T-Wolves and is expected to be in uniform tonight vs. the Warriors, according to the team's PR Twitter account.

THURSDAY, 9:25am: The Timberwolves have reached an agreement with Josh Howard on a one-year deal, reports ESPN.com's Chris Broussard (via Twitter). According to Broussard, the contract will be worth the minimum salary.

Having suffered a rash of early-season injuries, the T-Wolves had been eyeing reinforcements, particularly at the wing, where the team will be without Chase Budinger for three months. Mickael Pietrus and Raja Bell were among the other possible options, though as I suggested earlier this week, Howard made the most sense, since Pietrus wanted more than the veteran's minimum and Bell's contract made him an undesirable trade target. As Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets, it was always a matter of getting a player to accept the minimum, which is all Minnesota could offer.

Howard, 32, isn't the player he once was, but could be a useful piece for the Timberwolves as a bench player. In 43 games for the Jazz in 2011/12, the Wake Forest product averaged 8.7 PPG and 3.7 RPG in 23.0 minutes per contest.

With a full 15-man roster, the Wolves will have to make a corresponding roster move to clear a spot for Howard. Will Conroy is the most likely candidate to be cut, as he's the only Minnesota player without a fully guaranteed contract.

Timberwolves Waive Will Conroy

12:46pm: The Wolves have officially released Conroy, according to the team (Twitter link). The club also confirmed it will sign Howard, pending a physical.

12:16pm: In order to clear a spot on the roster for Josh Howard, the Timberwolves will release Will Conroy, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. Wolfson tweets that the team has informed Conroy he'll be let go.

With 15 players on the roster, the Wolves needed to release a player in order to make room for Howard, with whom they agreed to a one-year deal earlier today. As I wrote at the time, Conroy was the most logical candidate to go, since he's the only T-Wolves player without a fully guaranteed contract. If and when they officially cut Conroy, the Wolves will take a small cap hit of $100K, the amount of the 29-year-old's contract that was guaranteed.

As Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press noted yesterday, the Timberwolves could have signed a 16th man without releasing a player in the event of a hardship. However, four players would need to be sidelined for two or more weeks to constitute a hardship. Minnesota only has three players, in Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and Chase Budinger, that meet those criteria.

Northwest Rumors: Harden, Dorsey, Lawson

The James Harden trade continues to make news, as Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman weighs in with a lengthy list of observations while Ken Berger of CBSSports.com deems the trade a success for the Thunder, the Rockets and Harden. Berger holds it up as an illustration of the bold, proactive moves that small-market teams must make to stay competitive. As the rest of the NBA digests what the move means, here's more news on the Thunder and their Northwest Division rivals.