NBA PM: Nets Fade, Others Rise in Quest for Howard?
Whereas the ongoing negotiations between the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic mutated into a three and a four-team discussion on Monday, the herd has been thinning throughout the day here on Tuesday. The Cleveland Cavaliers are no longer a part of the discussion, CBSSports.com’ Ken Berger and Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the trade talks (or the constant speculation).
Yesterday, the proposed framework of the deal included Luke Walton going from the Cavaliers to the Magic with Kris Humphries, Quentin Richardson, Sundiata Gaines, cash and a first-round pick going to the Cavs. But as the Los Angeles Clippers continued to waffle on whether or not to accept Nets swingman MarShon Brooks in order to compensate Cleveland with the first-rounder, the Cavaliers apparently lost interest.
One source with knowledge of the negotiations told HOOPSWORLD that the Cavaliers were never really in or out of the trade, which echoed a lot of chatter this afternoon.
As Wojnarowski wrote, “Several league executives with knowledge of the negotiations believe the small-market Cavaliers had become sensitive to criticism they were contributing to the construction of another big-market super power.”
But the speculation about Cleveland’s mood swings didn’t end there.
Fox Sports Ohio contributor Sam Amico tweeted that one “East GM” told him that the Cavaliers were his “least-favorite” team to negotiate with because, “They irritate the crap out of everyone.”
ESPN’s Ric Bucher also got in a shot by adding a tweet of his own: “Cavs developing (furthering?) reputation as an annoying trade partner. Hard to pin down, constantly revising terms.”
But again, the revised terms aren’t necessarily the death of a deal.
As Berger wrote, if the deal is going to get done, it’s going to be the old-fashioned way: Two or three teams, five picks and enough players to start an expansion franchise (maybe this isn’t really the “old-fashioned way”).
In this incarnation of the trade, the Magic would keep three picks from the Nets and one from the Clippers while Brooks goes to Los Angeles.
But the Magic also have other offers. The Atlanta Hawks—who have the appeal of playing in Howard’s home town and currently have Howard’s friend Josh Smith on the roster—Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers are still floating around. And, as reported by Tommy Dee of “The Knicks Blog” on Twitter, the latter team may have the inside track:
“Source says magic involved in another 3 way deal with the lakers now in the mix. Third team unclear… Atl? Houston?”
The good news for Nets fans, and this goes along with what we’ve been hearing at HOOPSWORLD, is that the Nets want an end to this, which is why the team is in serious talks with Lopez, a restricted free agent, on a contract extension.
As first reported by Wojnarowski on Twitter, “The Nets have been negotiating an extension with Brook Lopez and could ultimately complete the deal in the next 48 hours, sources say.”
That would effectively end the Nets’ “#Dwightmare” until at least Dec. 15th, when Lopez would be eligible to be traded again.
We’re not any closer to a Dwight Howard trade today than we were yesterday, but even though this train keeps rolling down the tracks, the Nets appear closer and closer to bailing.
Brandon Roy Talks Retirement, Comeback
Former Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy was on KJR in Seattle to talk with Dave Mahler about his retirement and subsequent comeback with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday. The former Washington Husky primarily cited knee issues for his initial decision to retire, but that wasn’t the whole story. (Transcription provided by Chris Fedor of SportsRadioInterviews.com)
“It seems so long ago because so much has happened since then but that process was a tough one for me, with the whole lockout, I think everyone knows how hard that was, not only on the players but on the fans and when the lockout was finally lifted I decided to start working out, start preparing myself a little more seriously for the season and I had some good conversations with Coach Nate, Larry Miller, Chad Buchanan and I was looking forward to the year.
“When I went down there to get my physical with the team doctor and trainers they thought it would be in my best interest to maybe stop playing basketball. They just thought my knees were, they weren’t done at that moment but they thought they were progressively getting worse. It was something that really concerned me so I ended up talking with my wife and talking with the team and we just tried to figure out the best way going forward. It was a difficult situation. It’s not easy to walk away from basketball at any age, especially at 27. That was really, really hard for me. But I had worked with those doctors for years, I trust their opinion and we thought it was the best thing to do.
“That first month or two I didn’t really want to watch basketball. I didn’t want to play and I was just sitting at the house and trying to do alternative things but that bug just keeps messing with you and I just slowly started to play basketball. I’d go out and play with my cousins and friends and the more I would play the more I thought ‘I don’t quite want to give this up yet.’ That’s where I kind of started the process to start working out a little more seriously to see where I was at.”
Roy went on to discuss his upcoming season in Minnesota and a few other details. It’s definitely worth your time if you want to check it out.
Speaking of Timberwolves Guards
The Timberwolves added some depth to their backcourt on Tuesday by agreeing to terms with Russian combo guard Alexey Shved. According to the Associated Press, Shved was in Minneapolis/St. Paul on Tuesday and was able to finalize an agreement. The terms were not disclosed.
It’s no secret that the Wolves have been looking for help on the perimeter for some time. Former lottery pick Wesley Johnson really isn’t a ball handler, which has limited his production in the backcourt, but the additions of Roy, Shved, Chase Budinger and possibly Nic Batum (who is waiting to see if the Portland Trail Blazers will match Minnesota’s offer sheet) could change all that.
Minnesota had a -3.8 Player Efficiency Differential at the shooting guard position last season and a -5.1 differential at small forward, according to 82games.com, so it’s obvious that Rick Adelman’s team needs to upgrade on the wing.
Fortunately, Shved gives the Timberwolves a great ball handler, a solid shooter and, like point guard Ricky Rubio, a surprisingly good defender. Shved stands about 6-5 and has enough of a wingspan to frustrate opposing ball handlers on the perimeter.
Naturally, Adelman will appreciate Shved’s 3-point accuracy (he hit 49.3 percent of his attempts in 21 Euroleague Games for CSKA Moscow last season), but it’s his feel for the game that’s ultimately the most impressive thing about the young Russian. At only 23, Shved promises to continue to develop point guard skills, even if he’s playing off the ball in favor of Rubio.
Even though Shved wasn’t Moscow’s primary ball handler, he still averaged nearly six assists per 40 minutes last season.
Is Adam Morrison Ready to Return?
The Nets hosted former Charlotte Bobcats lottery pick Adam Morrison at a free agent mini-camp in June, and now the former Charles Manson lookalike is trying to make Brooklyn’s roster as beardless swingman.
HOOPSWORLD caught up with Morrison in Orlando, where he’s playing with the Nets Summer League team.
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