Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
- Real thing arrives as Cavaliers set to begin anew … again - October 23, 2019
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- Pistons star forward Griffin out to begin season - October 22, 2019
It’s All-Star Weekend, the final weekend before the NBA trading deadline. So that means there’s lots happening in the world of pro hoops.
Let’s take a look at the latest news, views and moves.
Per Cleveland.com: “Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert had two vice chairmen on his leadership team. Now, he has a half of one.”
Per Cleveland.com: “Jeff Cohen is out as vice chairman and Nathan Forbes, while maintaining his title has lost influence with Gilbert and is spending very little time on Cavs business, multiple sources with knowledge of the Cavs’ ownership structure told cleveland.com.”
Per Cleveland.com: “The two were “extensions” of Gilbert within the Cavs, according to one source, offering input on major trades and organizational decisions presented to Gilbert by general manager David Griffin.”
Per Cleveland.com: “A source said what’s happened with Cohen and Forbes has no impact on Griffin’s contract.”
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “LeBron James missed Friday’s interviews and his scheduled participation at an NBA Cares event because of a family obligation. A league spokesman said James was not in New Orleans. He is scheduled to talk Saturday after practice at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.”
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “Also absent was the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, selected to replace the Cavs’ Kevin Love, sidelined because of arthroscopic knee surgery that may keep him out six weeks.”
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “The Toronto Raptors filled a void at power forward with Tuesday’s trade with the Orlando Magic that brought the Eastern Conference finalists Serge Ibaka.”
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “The Raptors’ Kyle Lowry said he’s driven by the goal of beating the Cavs and ‘I’m sure that’s what every other team is doing.'”
Per Hoops Rumors: “ESPN’s NBA Insiders discussed the best deadline deals for teams around the Central. Three of ESPN’s four contributors advocated the Cavs stand pat (largely due to cap restrictions), while Jeremias Engelmann suggested the team shop Kyrie Irving. Such a trade would never materialize, Engelmann writes, but the four-time All-Star’s ‘market value is many times greater than the actual impact he has on the game.’
Per Hoops Rumors: “Amin Elhassan cited Ricky Rubio as a natural fit for the Pistons, calling him a ‘true set-up man’ to summon Andre Drummond‘s offensive potential.”
Per Cleveland.com: “The Cavs think Derrick Williams will be their seventh or eighth man against the Warriors in the Finals. He’s 6-8, 240 pounds, but quick enough to guard multiple positions.”
Per Cleveland.com: “They are going to sign him to a minimum contract in approximately 11 more days. But there won’t be a team option.”
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) February 18, 2017
Per ESPN: “In an attempt to secure help for All-Star forward Paul George, the Indiana Pacers have made their 2017 first-round pick available in a trade, league sources said.”
Per ESPN: “In what is considered to be a deep draft, the Pacers are hoping that such an asset would translate to the addition of either an established wing or established frontline player, according to sources.”
Per ESPN: “George is fixated on bringing a title to Indiana. On numerous occasions, including on Friday, he has voiced his desire to be a revered Pacers figure.”
Per ESPN: “The Pistons and Magic have discussed a trade that would send Reggie Jackson to Orlando for D.J. Augustin and Jeff Green, league sources say.”
Per the Arizona Republic: “Less than a week before the NBA’s trade deadline, the Suns still are exploring their personnel options. One player unlikely to be moved, however, is point guard Eric Bledsoe.”
Per the Arizona Republic: “We never say ‘never,’ but I think he’s one of the least likely guys on the roster to get traded,” Phoenix General Manager Ryan McDonough told azcentral sports Friday. “He’s under contract for a couple more years after this year. More likely, we’d try to add guys in that 27-and-under age group to play with Eric and (guard) Devin (Booker) and our young core and build that way.”
Per ESPN: “Multiple teams view Derrick Rose as a potential trade target, according to league sources.”
Per ESPN: “Rose isn’t the only Knick whose name will be bandied about in the next seven days. There’s also the well-documented Carmelo Anthony situation.”
Per CSN Chicago: “It’s why the Bulls coming up in myriad trade reports shouldn’t come as a surprise. Taj Gibson might have the trade deadline named after him by the time his career is over. Doug McDermott and Robin Lopez were rumored to be on the block in exchange for a first-round pick, though that seems unlikely after Serge Ibaka fetched a late first-rounder and reserve guard Terrence Ross.”
Per CSN Chicago: “In a best-case scenario: If Gar Forman and John Paxson can squeeze out a first-round pick for any combination of role players and the Kings continue winning — forcing them to surrender their first-rounder — the Bulls could have three first-round picks in a loaded 2017 draft. If Dwyane Wade opts out of his contract at season’s end, the Bulls would also have the cap space to sign a max free agent, as unlikely as the prospect of one coming to Chicago seems at the moment.”
The @NBA tells us players that winning matters! Wizards are the hottest team in the NBA! Bradley Beal is healthy and balling! Damn shame
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 16, 2017
Per ESPN: “If the NBA season were to end at the All-Star break, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green would be the favorite for his first Defensive Player of the Year award.”
Per ESPN: “After promising anonymity, ESPN polled 80 media members who have postseason awards voting privileges. Every NBA market is represented. The league selects 130 media members to vote for its official postseason awards.”
Former NBA center Kendrick Perkins, in a Q&A with The Oklahoman: “A: I’m still trying to get back in. I’ve been working two-a-days over the last couple of months. Just been going hard. Got a couple of calls, just a few teams say they want to start trying me out and working me out before the free agency’s over with. So, just trying to get back in and see what it do. One more push.”
Perkins, via The Oklahoman: “I feel like I fit here. From me walking in the facility earlier (Wednesday), all the love and stuff that I got and then coming here tonight, and then after talking with Sam Presti and Mr. Bennett, you just know that it’s genuine. It ain’t like I got that many options that I can just pick and choose, but I feel like this would be a good place.”
The Warriors have assigned guard Briante Weber to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League, per the team.
Former Knicks big man Charles Oakley will be a player/coach on a team with Chauncey Billups and Stephen Jackson in the new three-on-three league made up of former pros, per Yahoo Sports.
Per the Associated Press: “More than five years into efforts to get a new arena built in Seattle, Chris Hansen remains confident that his goal of being the facilitator for getting the NBA and NHL to Seattle will ultimately be realized.”
Per the Associated Press: “Hansen said his group, which currently has five public members including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, will have an equity stake in the arena and a possible NBA franchise.”
Per ESPN: “When 2016 five-star phenom Terrance Ferguson opted not to test the NCAA clearinghouse in an attempt to play college basketball, choosing instead to play professionally in Australia while awaiting NBA draft eligibility, he joined a short list of teenagers who have gone overseas in the one-and-done era.”
Per ESPN: “Before Emmanuel Mudiay was drafted seventh overall in 2015, he played in the Chinese Basketball Association for the Guangdong Southern Tigers. Although Ferguson is a 3-and-D player while Mudiay was more of a combo guard as a prospect (and is now a point guard in the NBA), it’s worth noting that the two players have similar height, weight, and wingspan.”
Former D-League guard Isaiah Swann (Florida State) has agreed to a deal with Venezuelan club Marinos, per Amico Hoops.
Former D-League forward Chamberlain Oguchi (Illinois State) has agreed to a contract with Boulazac Basket of France, per Amico Hoops.
Former D-League power forward Trey Gilder (Northwestern State) has agreed to a deal with Panteras of Venezuela, per Amico Hoops.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “It hasn’t always been easy and oftentimes it has quite literally been painful for those involved, but the Cavaliers enter the All-Star break again on top of the Eastern Conference and the overwhelming favorites to return to the NBA Finals for what would be LeBron James’ seventh consecutive trip.”
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “We’ve played some good ball,” James said following the Cavs’ win Wednesday over the Indiana Pacers. “Obviously, we know January wasn’t such a good month for us, but overall, for the season, we’re in a good place.”
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “The Cavs have still struggled for long stretches defensively and they consistently fail to put teams away after building big leads, which in turn makes James’ minutes climb higher than necessary. They have plummeted to 20th in defensive rating and they’re 16th in defensive field-goal percentage.”
NBA insider Brian Windhorst discusses some of the Cavs’ options at the trade deadline in this ESPN podcast.
Per ESPN: “Since the start of the past season, including the regular season and playoffs, nearly 50 players have attempted at least 15 shots in the final minute of one-possession games. Kyrie Irving is the only one who has made more than half of his attempts (10-for-19).”
Per Cleveland.com: “Before Kevin Love was lost until April because of arthroscopic knee surgery, the Cavs’ game plan was to run the offense through him in the opening minutes to make sure Love received the confidence boost a strong first quarter provides.”
Per Cleveland.com: “With Irving, it’s as former baseball pitcher and philosopher Joaquin Andujar said: ‘There’s one word in America that says it all, and that word is, ‘You never know.’ Just because Irving starts cold does not mean he will stay that way.”
Per ESPN: “LeBron James outscored the Pacers’ Paul George 31-13 Wednesday night. James has outscored George in 31 of their 37 head-to-head meetings, including 17-of-19 postseason meetings. James did not allow a point to George as the primary defender Wednesday.”
Per the Toronto Star: “From Toronto’s Masai Ujiri saying ‘I still have my phone,’ to the Indiana Pacers being ‘open for business’ and LeBron James insisting on some sort of help for the Cavaliers, to the Boston Celtics looking for a game-changing star worth adding for the various impressive assets they have stored, to the bench-starved Washington Wizards linked to high-scoring ex-Raptor Lou Williams, almost every team of significance in the East seems willing to do some kind of deal.”
Per the Toronto Star: “League sources insist Toronto will not give away any more young assets such as Delon Wright, Jakob Poeltl, Lucas Nogueira, Pascal Siakam, Norm Powell or Fred VanVleet, but that doesn’t mean a package can’t be put together.”
Per the Toronto Star: “The Celtics have a good team verging on very good, but they lack a stud wing. If they can try to pry Jimmy Butler away from the Chicago Bulls, it’d be the game-changer in the conference.”
Per the Toronto Star: “The names being bandied about — maybe true, maybe not — include everyone from Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks to P.J. Tucker of the Suns and Miami’s Goran Dragic. Perhaps they are available, perhaps they are not, but it does feel like there’s more serious talk by more teams than usual this year.”
Per the Los Angeles Times: “As the NBA trade deadline approaches on February 23, the Lakers have their ears open.”
Per the Los Angeles Times: “We are active, yes,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. “We’re active every year. … Quite frankly compared to the last three or four years, we have a lot of talent on this roster that I think a lot of people have interest in — varying levels of interest. I would think there’s more meaningful discussions this year than there have been the last two or three years.”
Per the Los Angeles Times: “Kupchack and Jim Buss, the Lakers’ executive vice president of basketball operations, are scheduled to meet with Magic Johnson next week.”
Per the Los Angeles Times: “Veteran guards Nick Young and Lou Williams have frequently been the subject of trade speculation. The Lakers tried to trade Young last summer.”
Per ESPN: “DeMarcus Cousins says he intends to sign an extension with the Kings this summer, because he wants his ‘legacy to end in Sacramento” and his “jersey to be in the rafters in Sacramento.’”
Per ESPN: “Although his tenure in Sacramento has been marred by constant regime changes — Dave Joerger is the sixth coach he has played for in seven seasons — Cousins says he feels confident in the direction of the franchise going forward, or at least confident enough to sign an extension.”
Per the Dallas News: “Asked if his gut told him he would be back next week when the team reconvenes for practice on Wednesday, Andrew Bogut said: ‘That’s not a question for me to answer. But I don’t think anything’s going to happen.’”
Per Hoops Rumors: “Celtics GM Danny Ainge is not interested in a quick-fix deal and is driving a hard bargain when it comes to his best trade assets, he said during a radio interview posted by CSNNE.com.”
Per Hoops Rumors: “Ainge doesn’t want any ‘band aids’ for the final 25 regular-season games. ‘We’re trying to build something that’s a little more sustainable than we are to rent a player,’ he said. The Celtics have the ability to dangle some tantalizing draft picks, as well as young players, to acquire the ‘long-term’ impact player that he’s seeking.”
Per Amico Hoops: “According to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks are looking to make moves and improve their roster before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.”
Per Amico Hoops: “The Hawks have a deep pool of assets to include in trades, including the Nets’ 2017 second-round pick, the Heat’s second-round pick (protected 31-40) in 2017 or unprotected in 2018, the Timberwolves’ first-round pick (protected 1-14) for 2018, 2019 or 2020 or second-round picks in 2021 and 2022 if not conveyed as a first-rounder, the Cavaliers’ first-round pick (protected 1-10) in 2019, and the Wizards’ second-round pick in 2019.”
— Chris Mannix Show (@ChrisMannixShow) February 14, 2017
Per Newsday: “Charles Oakley doesn’t expect his feud with Knicks owner James Dolan to ever end, saying “some things can’t be solved.’”
Per Newsday: “And the former Knicks forward may have started a new feud of sorts with the NBA by saying commissioner Adam Silver’s meeting with Oakley and Dolan on Monday at the league office was an effort ‘to make themselves look good.’”
Per Newsday: “Oakley criticized his former teammates who have not yet spoken up on his behalf in the wake of the incident at the Knicks-Clippers game. He also declined to say whether he will pursue a lawsuit against Dolan or MSG.”
Per Amico Hoops: “Road wins should only count when they are against teams that aren’t run by bungling general managers who are giving away talented rim protectors like charity donations. What a sad, sad state of affairs at the Spectrum Center.”
Per Amico Hoops: “This weekend is All-Star Weekend, however, and that’s no time for gloominess or negativity. This is a time to celebrate! Sure the Hornets only win one meaningful road game per fiscal quarter these days. Sure the Hornets are only a couple games ahead of teams in the East that are likely trying to lose (see: Magic, Orlando; Sixers, Philadelphia). Sure they are paying Nic Batum more cash than guys like LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson… well, you get the point.”
Bucks forward Jabari Parker is expected to be out a year following knee surgery, per The Vertical.
Kings guard Malachi Richardson will miss 4-6 weeks with a torn hamstring, per the team.
The Heat have assigned power forward Okaro White and small forward Marcus Georges-Hunt to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the D-League, per The Step Back.
Former NBA forward Shane Battier has been hired as the Director of Basketball Development & Analytics for the Heat, per the team.
Former NBA big man Jeff Byers has agreed to a contract with Toyota Alvark of Japan, per multiple reports.
Former D-League draft pick David Logan (Indianapolis) has agreed to a deal with Scandone Avellino of Italy, per Amico Hoops.
Former Kansas guard Kevin Young has signed with Argentinian club Platense, per Amico Hoops.