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HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Posted By Kyle Cape-Lindelin On June 23, 2013 @ 5:00 am In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
What’s Next For The Clippers?
By Eric Pincus
The Los Angeles Clippers have been a hot news topic recently, as their search for a head coach has led to negotiations with the Boston Celtics for Doc Rivers.
Rivers, a former Clipper, has three seasons left on his contract in Boston. If the two teams can find the right combination of players and picks, Boston would let Rivers leave for Los Angeles.
The difficult part is finding that happy medium.
Along with Rivers, the Celtics can deliver Kevin Garnett, who would waive his no-trade clause. They’re likely to buy out Paul Pierce for $5 million, with the expectation that he too would sign with the Clippers in July.
The Clippers are fond of Rivers and hope to give free agent Chris Paul every reason to return, while furthering their chances at an NBA title. The question for L.A. is cost.
The 2013 NBA Draft’s Biggest Steals
By Joel Brigham
There are a million different things NBA front offices have to consider when deciding what draft picks to make every June, but perhaps the most challenging decision most general managers and team presidents make is whether to grab an established player with a low ceiling and a high floor or a promising youngster with limitless potential that may or may not come into his own as a professional.
Whatever players these front office executives select, it’s just as easy to strike out taking an established four-year senior as it is to gamble on a freshman with talent that didn’t even crack his college starting lineup.
The more gifted talent evaluators, however, have the ability to find value no matter where they pick or what kind of player they select, even if it’s late in the first round or well into the second round. Every year, a small handful of teams find wonderful diamonds in the rough, and this year is not going to be any different.
So we’re going to look today at six players that have the potential to break out as credible NBA stars despite getting selected later in the draft. These are players that aren’t really mentioned in the conversation for lottery picks, but who are talented enough to eventually be NBA starters, anyway.
What In The World Is Going On In Denver?
By Travis Heath
Much has been made recently about all of the coaches fired in the NBA. For some perspective, the three, four and five seeds in the Western Conference Playoffs have all dismissed their head coaches. This has folks in the coaching profession raising quite a ruckus, and if I were a coach, I’m sure I wouldn’t like it, either. If I were a longtime NBA head coach, I would probably like it even less. That said, just because the coaches don’t like it doesn’t necessarily make the trend a bad one.
It is always somewhat amusing to read or listen to former NBA head coaches comment on all of the firings. One I have heard quite a bit lately is Stan Van Gundy, who, by the way, is a good basketball coach and an outstanding commentator. I very much enjoy listening to him talk about the game. However, if he is asked a question about the state of the NBA coaching carousel what do you think he is going to say? Do you really expect a guy who has devoted his life to coaching and wants to get back into it say that it’s a good thing so many coaches have been fired?
In truth, to simply shoot from the hip and say it’s a bad thing, or a good one for that matter, that so many coaches have been fired is lazy analysis. As always, each firing should be taken on a case-by-case basis for some level of truth to be discovered. It’s not as though management teams across the NBA conspired to fire many top-level coaches. That becomes especially apparent when one acknowledges that these recently fired coaches are likely to be hired by some of the same teams who did the firing.
Living in Denver, the firing I have been closest to is that of George Karl. I have known Karl for about a decade and talked about nearly everything one could imagine with him. In short, I like him as a human being. However, there comes a time when a change can be mutually beneficial. The Nuggets and Karl had reached that time.
Six Free Agents For The Lakers
By Jabari Davis
So much of what the Los Angeles Lakers do in free agency is dependent upon what unrestricted free agent center Dwight Howard ultimately wants to do. The reality is everything is on hold until Howard makes his decision. For the record, while nothing can be verbally agreed upon until after the 12:01 EST, July 1, if Howard has any inclination as to whether he wants to stay or go, it would certainly help the Lakers from a planning and/or positioning standpoint. At this point, the only clarity that has been provided is that of the organization’s intentions. Even with the report of the Los Angeles Clippers’ interest in potentially working out a package of Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe for the return of Howard, the Lakers have remained steadfast in their determination to re-sign their starting center when he officially becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Even with the possibility of acquiring Howard on the table, it’s questionable whether the Clippers would actually make Griffin available. From the Lakers’ perspective, unless Howard comes to them and emphatically declares his desire and intention to play elsewhere, don’t anticipate them deviating from the plan of signing him to a long-term deal.
Pacers May Not Trade Granger
By Alex Kennedy
In recent days, Danny Granger’s name has once again surfaced in trade rumors.
A number of teams have been linked to Granger recently, including the Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets among others.
It’s no surprise that Granger is in the rumor mill, especially considering the Indiana Pacers’ success last year when he was sidelined with a left knee injury for all but five games and the fact that Granger is about to enter the final year of his contract at $14,021,788.
However, sources close to the situation in Indiana have made it clear that the Pacers aren’t in any rush to trade Granger. If Indiana decides to move the eight-year veteran, it will likely be after the season starts and closer to the trade deadline rather than making any move over the offseason.
Clearing The Air With Nerlens Noel
By Steve Kyler
The 2013 NBA Draft will take place in seven days, and while the direction the Cleveland Cavaliers will go with the top overall pick is still very much up in the air, Nerlens Noel will be in town today to make his case for the top spot.
Noel has been under fire lately or a myriad of things, including his circle of friends, his weight and his prospect as a NBA player. HOOPSWORLD caught up with Nerlens in between two-a-day rehab sessions in Birmingham, Alabama to clear up some of the misconceptions about his status as the possible top pick.
“I’m just taking it day-by-day,” Noel said. “This only comes around once in a lifetime, so it’s a dream come true for me to be in this position so I’m doing my best with it.”
Phil Jackson Back With The Lakers
By Yannis Koutroupis
Los Angeles Lakers fans have gotten what they wanted and chanted for.
Well, kind of.
Phil Jackson is back with the organization, but in an unofficial “consultant” role, not as head coach as many Laker fans, and players, hoped for back at the beginning of the season. The news was revealed last night at a Time Warner Cable event in which Jackson was there to represent the Lakers along with his fiancee Jeanie Buss and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak.
“We discussed some things, me and Mitch in the past couple of weeks, bouncing things around,” Jackson said to ESPN’s Arash Markazi. “That’s been something that has happened. It’s not something I expect them to rely on me for information, but I’m there to offer it. Not so much advice. Explaining the program that they’re headed toward down the road and resolutions they had in the past and trying to clean that up and talk about some of the things in the future that are different ways in which they can resolve the issues. They asked if I can be of assistance. I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll help in whatever area you need to have help.’”
Spurs’ Championship Window Closed?
By Derek Page
San Antonio Spurs’ power forward Tim Duncan had the opportunity to become just the second player in NBA history to win an NBA Title in three different decades. With the seconds winding down in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, it appeared inevitable that both Duncan and Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich would achieve that goal. Unfortunately for San Antonio, Miami HEAT guard Ray Allen nailed a fiercely contested 3-pointer, Miami capitalized in overtime and on we went to Game 7.
Then LeBron James happened.
With a game-high 37 points and team-high 12 rebounds, James spurred the Heat to a 95-88 Game 7 victory over four-time champion Duncan and the Spurs. Miami secured their third NBA Championship over the past seven years along with the second-straight NBA Title in the James-era.
“The obvious word is ‘disappointing’,” Duncan told Sam Amick of USA Today Sports. “Tough end to the game. We made some bad decisions, missed some shots. I don’t know what to say. Just give credit to the Miami Heat. LeBron (James) was unbelievable. Dwyane (Wade) was great. I just think they found a way to get it done. We stayed in the game. We gave ourselves opportunities to win the game, we just couldn’t turn that corner. They made more plays down the stretch, bottom line.”
When discussing the New York Knicks’ options in free agency this summer, it is important to first highlight their restrictive limitations.
Even after the surprising retirement of Jason Kidd wiped more than $3 million in annual salary off their books, the Knicks still have nearly $70 million in guaranteed salary committed to six players next season. The majority of that sum is allotted to Amar’e Stoudemire ($21.6 million), Carmelo Anthony ($22.4 MM), and Tyson Chandler ($14.1). In addition three other veterans (Raymond Felton, Steve Novak, and Marcus Camby) are all set to earn between $3.6 and 4.4 million next season.
As a result, the Knicks begin the summer well over the salary cap – before they even consider re-signing any of the pending free agents currently on their roster. Assuming they re-sign J.R. Smith, who likely played his way back into the Knicks price range courtesy of a disastrous postseason, the Knicks will likely also exceed the “tax apron,” which will further inhibit Knicks GM Glen Grunwald’s ability to get aggressive in free agency. Essentially, the only means by which Grunwald can sign any free-agent to more than a minimum-level contract is via the tax-payers mid-level exception (the so called “mini-MLE” will likely land around $3.8 million).
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