Zeljko Obradovic

And-Ones: Cap, Jackson, Rockets, Jazz

The NBA has informed teams that next season’s salary cap will increase by close to $5MM, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Stein references this piece by Larry Coon, which breaks down the changes. The news comes much to the delight of teams around the league, especially the Bulls and Rockets, who are expected to make a run at Carmelo Anthony. Let’s round up more from around the Association:

  • Phil Jackson promised change would be coming to the Knicks’ roster this offseason, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Jackson didn’t address the job status of coach Mike Woodsonbut one player tells Isola that Jackson said the team should be “grateful” for the work Woodson has put in for them over the past two seasons.
  • The Rockets have assigned Robert Covington and Isaiah Canaan to their D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, for tonight’s playoff game, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Four veterans might be on their way out of Utah, writes Mike Sorensen of the Deseret NewsRichard Jefferson, Marvin Williams, Brandon Rush and John Lucas are four Jazz players without guaranteed deals in 2014/15 who will more than likely find themselves in a new uniform next year, suggests Sorensen.
  • Turkish basketball coach Zeljko Obradovic has drawn interest from three NBA teams whose offseasons have already begun. Djordje Matic initially tweeted the news, and a source verified the report to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Cray Allred contributed to this post.

Odds & Ends: Brand, CP3, Obradovic, Rush

Let’s round up a few odds and ends from around the Association….

  • Elton Brand tells Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he was “a little surprised” that the Mavericks didn’t re-sign him this summer. However, the veteran big man added that Dallas had been in the mix: “They had to get their cap situation straight and they did tender an offer.”
  • Appearing on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (video link), Chris Paul admits that he could see himself retiring a little earlier than expected in order to spend more time with his children (hat tip to Matt Moore of Eye on Basketball). Of course, the Clippers guard just signed a five-year deal with the club this summer, so he’s not about to call it a career anytime soon.
  • Rigas Dardalis of Eurohoops.net translates an interview with longtime Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic on Greece’s OTE TV. Shortly after the 2012/13 NBA season ended, Obradovic said he’d consider taking an NBA job if a playoff team reached out to him, but he tells OTE TV that while a couple clubs were considering interviewing him, none ended up contacting him directly.
  • After recently working out at the Lakers facility, former NBA vet Kareem Rush is prepared to rejoin the team’s D-League affiliate, the L.A. D-Fenders, he tells Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link). Rush appeared in seven games for the D-Fenders in 2011/12.

Pistons Rumors: Hunter, Budenholzer, Cheeks

For most of the 2000s, the Pistons were playoff regulars, but in the 2010s, the only way the team has drawn headlines at this time of year is through the draft lottery or with a coaching change. That's the case again in 2013, as we detail in the latest dispatches from the Palace. 

  • If the Suns let go of Lindsey Hunter, a move that seems increasingly likely, he could become a candidate for the Pistons coaching vacancy, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press suggests. Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and former Sixers and Blazers head coach Maurice Cheeks, who's believed to want another head coaching job, could also emerge as candidates, Ellis believes.
  • Two coaches who apparently won't have a shot at the Pistons job are Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson and Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, according to Ellis.
  • Zeljko Obradovic, who spent 13 seasons coaching Panathinaikos in Greece, tells El Juego de Naismith that he would consider taking a coaching job in the NBA this summer if a team with a chance to make the playoffs reaches out to him, (translation via Sportando). Obradovic pointed to his relationship with the Pistons, who invited him to observe training camp last fall and attend the team's game against the Knicks in London this past season. Still, Obradovic's agent, Alexander Raskovic, tweets that they won't negotiate any deal until after the season. It's unclear if Raskovic means the end of the NBA's postseason or the end of European play.
  • Pistons assistant GM George David is excited about having won a pair of draft-order tiebreakers, particularly the one that gave the Pistons the No. 7 overall position heading into next month's lottery, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. "The difference between having six or seven, or seven or eight, or five or six, becomes – as Pistons fans, I’m sure, recognize – extremely valuable to our team over the last three or four drafts," the executive said. "If we were one slot lower than where we were in Andre (Drummond)’s draft, Brandon (Knight)’s draft or Greg (Monroe)’s draft, there’s a very, very high probability that none of those guys are on our roster. When you’re picking that high, the difference between one slot is really, really big."