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HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Posted By Kyle Cape-Lindelin On July 14, 2013 @ 5:00 am In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
The earliest the deal can officially be signed, due to the annual league moratorium, is July 10.
The move represents the latest chapter of change for the Atlanta Hawks franchise, a redirection from its recent past and the ushering in of a new culture.
On the other hand, Smith’s arrival to Detroit is being hailed as one which will bring their franchise back to the levels of respectability from years past.
With Hawks president of basketball operations and general manager Danny Ferry calling the shots, the team now has just one player, former All-Star center Al Horford, remaining under contract from its 2008 roster that started the club’s current streak of six consecutive playoff appearances.
Sullinger: We Have Celtic Pride, Won’t Tank
By Yannis Koutroupis
Boston Celtics fans may want to hold off on having custom Andrew Wiggins jerseys made in preparation for winning the 2014 NBA Draft lottery.
No, not because the last time they did that with Tim Duncan in 1997 they ended up heartbroken – but because there isn’t a Celtic onboard with the idea of tanking the season, no matter how great the benefits may be.
“You got to understand, with you being a Celtic you have Celtic pride,” Celtics second-year power forward Jared Sullinger said to HOOPSWORLD. “With Celtic pride we don’t tank. You have to bleed green or else you might as well get out of town.”
The Celtics are two days away from the trading of veteran forwards Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets for a combination of expiring contracts, draft picks and Gerald Wallace. They recently hired former Butler head coach Brad Stevens to be their next head coach, giving him a six-year deal worth $22 million. All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo’s status is currently up in the air as well. The Celtics have publicly stated that they have no plans to trade Rondo and want to build around him, but that hasn’t stopped teams from calling and trying to offer a deal good enough to pry him away.
All signs point to the Celtics being in full-blown rebuilding mode, but Sullinger still believes in the team’s potential.
Center Of Attention: Howard To Houston
By Jabari Davis
The “Dwightmare” has finally come to an end. While nothing can be made official until the NBA’s free agency moratorium ends on July 10, USA Today’s Sam Amick reported that Howard intends to agree in principle with the Houston Rockets. This marks the first time in memory where one of their own big-name free agents has decided to leave the Los Angeles Lakers in favor of a another organization, let alone one of those “small market” teams often discussed during the most recent CBA negotiations.
For a man, working on his third team and fourth coach in three years, that often ‘preaches’ loyalty, this is finally an opportunity for Howard to incorporate just that. Gone, are the opportunities to point the finger, second-guess decisions or look to the horizon for answers. In choosing the Houston Rockets, Howard elected to to embrace the responsibility of not only being a leader, but he now is accountable for being the leader. He has the opportunity, like LeBron James has done over the past three seasons, to silence the demons and doubters. If Howard is truly interested in winning titles, then he will accept the accountability and lead this young, exciting, and promising Rockets group to the Western Conference Finals and beyond.
Celtics Excited About Brad Stevens
By Alex Kennedy
When the Boston Celtics hired Brad Stevens to be their new head coach five days ago, it was widely regarded as a surprising hire. The move makes complete sense since Stevens has been one of the most successful coaches in college basketball in recent years. During his time at Butler, he had a 166-49 record, which is the most wins for any Division I coach in the first six years of his career. The Bulldogs also played in back-to-back national championship games despite having few highly-coveted recruits.
However, the surprise was that Stevens decided to leave Butler’s campus, where he’s treated like royalty and could do no wrong. NBA teams have been contacting Stevens and his camp for quite some time to gauge his interest in a jump to the pros, and this offseason, the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns were among the teams to reach out to Stevens. But every team knew that it would be difficult to land the 36-year-old head coach since he loved his situation at Butler.
The Celtics were able to land Stevens by offering a six-year, $22 million contract that was negotiated by Stevens’ wife, who serves as his agent. The money, six-year commitment and the chance to lead a storied franchise like the Celtics was too much for Stevens to pass on, and now the league will get the chance to see one of the brightest young minds in basketball work with some of the best players in the world.
What Teams Still Have Spending Power?
By Eric Pincus
Many of the big names in free agency have found homes, but a few key free agents remain unsigned like Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, Nikola Pekovic, Andrei Kirilenko, Mo Williams and Gerald Henderson.
What teams still have spending power to go shopping almost two weeks into the free agency period?
The cap came at $58,679,000 for the coming season with a luxury tax threshold of $71,748,000 with the luxury tax apron set at $75,748,000.
While contracts and trades are still going through the league office, the exact figures for each club will continue to come in. In the meantime, reasonable and educated estimates show where teams stand and who has money to spend.
Call Timeout? Not So Fast, NBA Coaches
By Nate Duncan
With 11 seconds remaining in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs captured a defensive rebound with the Spurs trailing by one point. Rather than take a de rigueur timeout, the Spurs eschewed conventional wisdom and pushed the ball up the floor. It didn’t work. Manu Ginobili took the outlet and easily penetrated the lane in semi-transition, but was then stripped/fouled* by Ray Allen.
*I thought it was a pretty good strip by Allen, as the replays show he had already dislodged the ball before making relatively minimal contact with Ginobili’s arms.
For one of the few times in his career, Gregg Popovich was heavily criticized for failing to call timeout to set up a play for the most important possession of the game. especially with Tony Parker on the bench. But look at the play:
Pistons Look Headed Back to Playoffs
By Joel Brigham
There’s sort of a hierarchy when it comes to Summer League games; obviously the rookies and unsigned free agents are practicing and playing in the games trying to prove themselves worthy of a roster spot and playing time, but for actual NBA players there actually are a couple of tiers; the first is the young, burgeoning star who hangs around the team and gets to know the new teammates, and the second is the veteran who doesn’t typically spend a lot of time at the events.
Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe, for example, is part of that first group, and he says the organization wanted him and a few of his teammates there to build some chemistry with the younger players and to really establish himself as a leader.
“That’s a big part of it,” Monroe said. “I practiced with them the first couple of days leading into games, and they’ve come to me, Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler, just to come in and help these guys, show them how we practice, how we go about our business.”
And how Detroit goes about their business will be very different this year, not only because they added veteran free agent forward Josh Smith and a handful of experienced and talented rookies, but also because players like Knight, Monroe, and Andre Drummond will have taken another step in their own development.
Ranking the Eastern Conference So Far
By Tommy Beer
With free agents finally able to formally sign contracts that were agreed to last week, we now have a clearer look at complete NBA rosters across the league. Have any of these deals shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference?
Below we rank each team in the East, knowing full well that plenty of changes can still take place between now and the start of the season, still four months away…
Bold New Direction For Philadelphia
By Bill Ingram
A year ago the Philadelphia 76ers were talking about the playoffs, and perhaps even contention. A four-way trade with the Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers had netted them All-Star center Andrew Bynum, and expectations were sky-high for the pairing of Bynum and All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday.
Just one year later, we find the 76ers in a completely different place. The Bynum acquisition turned into a nightmare as knee issues claimed his entire season and the subsequent trade of Holiday has the team facing a complete rebuild. New general manager Sam Hinkie knew he was in for a challenge when he took the reins of the team in May, but he’s looking forward to the challenge.
Thunders’ Young Players Ready To Step Up
By Susan Bible
The Oklahoma City Thunder just claimed top honors at the 2013 Orlando Pro Summer League. With a final 5-0 record, they were the only undefeated team among the ten who participated – good news for a team who has been totally quiet in this frenzied free agency season. Just as fans and followers were starting to question why the Thunder weren’t working to upgrade the roster during the offseason, it became apparent: they may not need to.
With last seasons’ starting five still intact and the promising performance in Orlando of an ever-improving Reggie Jackson and rising Jeremy Lamb and others, we were reminded that the Thunder are ready to make a legitimate title run next season.
The Cap Is Set and The Tax Bills Went Out
By Steve Kyler
The NBA and NBA Players’ Association finalized the economics for the 2012-13 season and locked in the terms for the 2013-14 season last night.
The salary cap for the upcoming season will be $58.679 million, while the tax threshold for the season will set at $71.748 million.
These levels reflect a modest increase from last season’s $58.044 million salary cap and $70.307 million tax threshold.
As part of the compromise reached on December 8 in 2011, the salary cap and tax levels were locked in for the first two years of the current labor deal. This season reflects the first season in which the new revenue split formula was applied, resulting in only a modest increase for the players.
This season also marks the first season with the new ‘graduated’ luxury tax system that penalizes teams based on various tiers over the luxury tax threshold. Each tier of tax comes with an ever increased penalty.
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