June 22, 2016, 11:31 am
The NBA wasted no time after it’s grand finale to get straight in to the NBA Draft and there is already plenty of speculation on roster movement. It’s barely been 72 hours and the Kevin Love rumors are flying! Can you imagine being told at the Championship parade that you are being traded for draft picks? Talk about a bummer of a celebration if that were the case. More on that below.
Meanwhile, J.R. Smith still hasn’t put a shirt on but the NBA Draft is already upon us. Our own John Sill (@JohnRSill) has been all over the NBA Draft coverage for us here at Hoop Ball. His excellent Final NBA Mock Draft is a great guide to follow along with what to expect on Thursday night.
A lot of news and speculation has occurred in the last three days since the end of Game 7 (ICYMI: my Game 7 recap and thoughts on LeBron’s legacy). Just hours after winning a championship, Richard Jefferson announced his retirement. His 15-year career ends with him going out on top as a role player (and as a starter in Game 3 of the NBA Finals) for a historic championship team. He ends his career with per game averages of 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists on 46.4% shooting. Best of all, he is now an NBA champion. Congrats RJ on a great career, and we will see you at the ring ceremony next season!
It’s time to recap the whirlwind of news going on since Monday. Let’s get to it.
AROUND THE ASSOCIATION
The Olympic roster for the 2016 games in Rio is still slowly being formed, but big names have confirmed their participation in the last few days. Kevin Durant confirmed that he will play and is unphased by the recent withdrawals of Stephen Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Warriors forward Draymond Green has also accepted an invitation to play in the summer games. The team is preparing to shape the roster with or without the 2016 Finals MVP LeBron James, as he is undecided but sources say he is leaning toward skipping the Olympics this time around. After six-straight NBA Finals and multiple offseasons playing on Team USA, who can blame him? His legs have been through enough.
On the movement front, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that a three-way deal is underway in Atlanta where Jeff Teague is going to the Pacers, George Hill to the Jazz and Utah’s No. 12 overall pick to the Hawks. Details will develop throughout the afternoon, but those are your key pieces. Teague was rumored to be traded all season and, much to the disappointment of Dennis Schroder fantasy owners, Teague wasn’t dealt until today. The Pacers have already said that they plan to sign Teague to an extension. Meanwhile, George Hill is on the final year of his contract, which is scary if you are a Utah fan.
Another developing story: Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Bulls are trading Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday and a second round pick to the Knicks for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant. More details will be hashed out as the story develops. The former MVP has a new home.
Dwight Howard opted out of his player option and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. This news doesn’t come as a surprise, especially given the way Dwight had issues on and off the court in the middle of last season. His playing time was cut in the latter half of the season, which signaled that maybe it was time to move on. Mike D’Antoni‘s signing didn’t help the matter, either. With the salary cap sky rocketing to $94 million next season and Howard in his 30s, he stands to gain a max deal on the open market and would reasonably go elsewhere. Perhaps a redemption season is in the works for the big fella.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News wrote that the Golden State Warriors “want Dirk Nowitzki” and that he is “bouncing around their thought process.” Right out of the NBA Finals losing tunnel, this news seems a bit fast and loose for the Warriors considering Dirk’s relationship to the Dallas Mavericks organization. If we do entertain the idea, the quick retort is who wouldn’t want the former MVP’s services? The flamingo-footed German had a per game average of 18.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in 75 games of the 2015-16 season for the Mavs, an improvement from the prior season. After an improbable championship for the Mavs in 2011, Dirk has repeatedly confirmed that he is now content and would like to finish out his career with the Mavericks. While he did opt-out of his contract to become a free agent, those close to the Mavs organization know that Dirk wants to finish his career in Dallas.
Speaking of the Mavs, Deron Williams and Chandler Parsons have opted out of their contracts as well and will test free agency this summer, despite Mark Cuban’s pleas. The Mavericks might again be “Team Free Agency,” which has basically developed in to a one to two year purgatory for free agents ever since their fabled 2011 NBA championship. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle has done a superb job of developing chemistry among the cards he is dealt and making the playoffs in all but one season under his tenure. The Mavs will play the free agency game once again, as the team gave it’s first round draft pick to the Celtics in exchange for Rajon Rondo. We all know how that
playedsat out. The Mavs are rumored to join the Dwight Howard and Hassan Whiteside sweepstakes. Be careful what you wish for.
In the aftermath of the NBA Finals, multiple teams have shown interest in Kevin Love after his mostly poor showing. His fit with the Cavs came in to question on the ultimate stage, after he posted a per game average of 7.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists on 36.2% shooting from the field during the NBA Finals. He only played 12 minutes in the Cavs win in Game 6, causing speculation if this would be Love’s final season with the team. While Love is busy celebrating at the parade (and, conveniently, he was the first to hug LeBron as the buzzer sounded to end Game 7), teams are surely inquiring about the three-time NBA all-star. After winning the ultimate prize, this news does not mean any movement is Cleveland’s doing, but you can count on offers pouring in from outside. Draft night would be a bit too soon to see a move, but the phones will ringing. Still, championship teams don’t blow up their key parts too easy.
The Philadelphia 76ers have dominated offseason news lately, and not just because they have the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft. Joel Embiid (foot) has been cleared to scrimmage in 5-on-5 situations. He will not participate in the summer league, but this is a step in the right direction.
With the 76ers reportedly telling Ben Simmons that they will select him with the No. 1 overall pick on Thursday, that can only mean that the Lakers will choose Brandon Ingram at No. 2. This means that the real draft begins at the Celtics No. 3 pick. Rumors are flying about the Celtics No. 3 overall pick and the 76ers. Names such as Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor have been thrown in to the fire as possible pieces that could be dealt to the Celtics.
The Milwaukee Bucks are aggressively shopping Greg Monroe, according to Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops. Monroe signed a three-year, $50 million deal last summer, but the Bucks found success without his services quite a bit this season. Rumors flew midseason after his decline, but it doesn’t seem like Milwaukee can get much in return. Monroe is under contract for the upcoming 2016-17 season and has a player option for the 2017-18 season. He is a poor fit defensively for the Bucks and fell off the map a bit this season as the Bucks slowly phased him out.
Manu Ginobili has opted out of his contract, which adds him to the long list of unrestricted free agents. His option was worth $2.94 million for next season. A lifetime Spur, it would be hard to see him in another jersey. He is likely waiting for Tim Duncan to make a decision about his future.
Matthew Dellavedova is drawing interest from the Bucks and Pistons, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “I think the Bucks have zeroed in on Dellavedova. I think they intend to offer him a bunch of money. The Detroit Pistons were hanging around in the playoffs a lot, sending scouts. They weren’t sending scouts to evaluate J.R. (Smith), I think they intend to go after Dellavedova.” Delly will make a nice addition off the bench.
April 24, 2019, 8:26 pmBlake Griffin - F - Detroit Pistons
Blake Griffin (left knee) underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday night.
Griffin's knee obviously dogged him during the final stretch of the regular season and throughout the Pistons' brief playoff run. The Pistons said that he isn't expected to miss any off season training and should be good to go for the start of the 2019-2020 season.
Source: Mark Stein on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 6:54 pmClint Capela - C - Houston Rockets
According to head coach Mike D'Antoni, Clint Capela (illness) is feeling much better ahead of Wednesday's matchup against the Jazz.
Clint Capela has been struggling ever since he came down with this virus. He seems to be close to 100% according to his head coach. If Capela can get close to his season averages of 16.6 points on 64.8% shooting while grabbing 12.7 rebounds and blocking 1.5 shots per game, then the Jazz will have an even tougher to task to take down the Rockets on Wednesday in order to force a Game 6 back in Utah.
Source: Tim MacMahon on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 3:24 pmJaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers
JaMychal Green will remain in the starting lineup in Game 5 on Wednesday.
Green logged 22 minutes in the same role in Game 4, though it's not surprising that the Clippers will stick with the same group considering Ivica Zubac's tough fit in this matchup and Montrezl Harrell's fit in his current role.
Source: Andrew Greif on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 2:11 pmNate Tibbets - Team - Trail Blazers
The Suns have been given permission to interview Blazers assistants Nate Tibbets and David Vanterpool for their vacant head coaching position.
The Cavs have already been connected to the duo from Portland, and Tibbets interviewed for the Hawks' gig last summer. The Suns reportedly fired Igor Kokoskov so they could make Philadelphia assistant Monty Williams their top target before the Lakers got too deep into talks, but Phoenix will be looking at multiple candidates. It's a nice roster to work with but we can't imagine anyone will be too eager to work with the team's ownership group.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 2:00 pmDraymond Green - F - Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green admitted that his right wrist has been hurt for "a while."
Green added that he got hit there in Game 4 and "it pissed it off" and said that he's going to play through any pain in the postseason. It's not like teams weren't sagging off Green on the perimeter already, but if his wrist continues to hamper him in any way we may see opponents get very aggressive in their defensive efforts on Golden State's other players. Green is going to have lots of open jumpers presented to him for the rest of the postseason.
Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 1:57 pmJarrett Allen - C - Brooklyn Nets
Jarrett Allen will work on extending his range to the 3-point line this summer.
Him and every other big man. Allen went 6-for-45 on 3-pointers this season, so he's got some work to do. He's a quality young player who can protect the rim, but Allen isn't quite strong enough to crash and bang with the league's true behemoths and not quite gifted enough offensively to be anything more than a threat on the roll. It's a great base from which to work, however, and it's good to know that Allen is going to be putting in the work to make himself more of a weapon as the Nets look to build on a nice campaign.
Source: Bryan Fonseca on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 1:55 pmMarcus Smart - G - Boston Celtics
On Wednesday Brad Stevens said that Marcus Smart (torn oblique) is "doing great."
That's nice, but it's not much of an update. Smart was able to do some light shooting and treadmill work yesterday but we're still not expecting to see him until the tail end of the second round at the earliest. His tenacity and perimeter defense will be missed dearly in Boston's matchup with the Bucks.
Source: Jay King on Twitter
April 24, 2019, 1:48 pmKyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry suffered a dislocated finger on his right hand in the first half of Tuesday's Game 5 but was able to pop it back in and return to the game.
Lowry swiped at the ball and ended up hitting Evan Fournier's leg with his hand, which caused the injury The fact that he was able to return to the game, even in a blowout, bodes well for his status for the second round. It may affect his shooting to some degree but Lowry has been playing facilitator more often anyway, and we wouldn't expect his performance to suffer. After a scoreless Game 1, Lowry was all over the floor for the Raptors as they locked in and simply outclassed Orlando.
Source: The Athletic
April 24, 2019, 11:50 amJeff Hornacek - Team - Sacramento Kings
Sam Amick of the Athletic is reporting that former Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had an interview with the Kings for the lead assistant coach job.
Sacramento has already hired Luke Walton to be their new coach but the news about the sexual assault allegations he faces might put his status in danger. Walton should be able to assemble his coaching staff once he is out of the woods but we should know more once the NBA concludes with their investigation of the matter.
Source: The Athletic
April 24, 2019, 11:11 amLuke Walton - Team - Sacramento Kings
Sam Amick of the Athletic is reporting that Luke Walton still has the Kings’ support, despite the sexual assault allegations the newly-hired coach is facing.
The Kings are working with the NBA to investigate allegations made against Walton by his former colleague at Time Warner Cable, Kelli Tennant. The report adds that the two sides are moving forward with their working relationship and there doesn’t appear to be any momentum toward firing Walton, who was hired earlier this month just three days after he parted ways with the Lakers. The Kings confirmed that they were not aware of the accusations until TMZ reported the news and that they will wait for the facts before making a decision on Walton’s future. The investigation has been delayed because all parties haven’t been able to access Tennant’s lawsuit so more information should merge soon.
Source: The Athletic