Archive for July 28th, 2013

After failing to field any NBA offers that entailed guaranteed deals, Andrew Goudelock has accepted a one-year deal to play with the Russian basketball team BC UNICS Kazan.

The offer is worth “considerably more” than Goudelock would’ve made with an NBA minimum salary worth around $1 million, according to a source familiar with the details. But exact terms weren’t immediately provided.

The Lakers declined to grant Goudelock a $1.1 million qualifying offer, which would’ve made him a restricted free agent and enabled the Lakers to match any offer sheet he fielded.

Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

lebron james

Despite James winning consecutive championships and most valuable player of the year awards, the talk remains on his next move.

You don’t hear any discussions about the Heat possibly becoming the first team to three-peat since the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002, no one is talking about James perhaps ending his career in Miami.

Instead, there is only speculation of James playing everywhere from Dallas to Los Angeles to New York to even returning to Cleveland.

“I guess it’s a byproduct of the way the league is right now,” Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.

“There’s always going to be speculation. That’s sort of the nature of the league. But he’s property of the Heat right now and no one can really talk about it.”

This should all sound familiar. James endured a similar struggle during the 2009-10 season, his first experience as a free agent.

Reported by Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Veteran center Marcus Camby returning to Houston Rockets

Even in July, in a match up against Eastern Conference contenders, homecourt advantage served the Rockets well. But it took more than that for the Rockets to bring back veteran center Marcus Camby.

In a measure of how much the Rockets have changed, becoming a potential contender themselves, a year after the Rockets let Camby head out of town in part of their transformation to the NBA’s youngest team, he will return to his adopted hometown to rejoin a team so radically transformed that he once again should fit in with a team’s win-now approach.

Camby chose to sign with the Rockets as a free agent, a person with knowledge of the decision said, to play for team far more prepared to compete than the team he left as a free agent last summer. A longtime resident of Pearland, Camby also considered the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.

Camby will sign a veteran’s minimum, worth $1.4 million next season.

Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)

Paul Pierce

Rivers said both unquestionably have something left.

“I think obviously Paul’s younger and in tune to play more minutes than Kevin,” Rivers said. “But I think they’re still at the top of their games. I think Paul is still one of those guys who can go off for big nights and still have big scoring nights. Kevin is a culture change. He won’t play but 20 to 25 minutes a night and there’ll probably be nights when he doesn’t play but his presence there alone will absolutely change the culture of Brooklyn. There’s no doubt about it. I think for some of the young guys, even some of the veteran stars, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, will learn and understand what a winner is and looks like and professionalism and being prepared.

“That’s what I was most impressed with Kevin, how every game he prepared himself for games. That’s what I told our young guys that I just wanted them to watch him prepare for games. It was why he was so consistent. I thought it was that important.”

Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Blog)

Chris Paul may play 2016 Olympic Games

A floor general in basketball is always important. But when you take a group of stars and try to teach them to also play like smart role players, leadership is even more crucial than ever. With that said, Team USA could really use a point guard like CP3.

Chris Paul

Chris Paul has changed his mind and is leaning toward playing in the 2016 Olympics.

The Los Angeles Clippers point guard, who was on the 2008 and 2012 gold medal teams, said he was leaning heavily toward bypassing the 2016 Games — until Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski announced he was returning to coach the team.

“If it had been another coach than Coach K, I was prepared to be done,” Paul told ESPN.com.

Paul will be 31 when the 2016 Olympics, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, take place. He will still likely be a major piece for the team, despite a strong crop of young and talented point guards that includes Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry.

Reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com

So far, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love are in. It’ll be fun seeing who else joins the squad.

The Sixers grabbed Nerlens Noel because he is potentially a first-pick talent who slid to the No. 6 pick in the draft because the market was scared away by his knee injury. They took Michael Carter-Williams, a very athletic, tall point guard who was available at the 11th pick only because other teams thought he was less attractive than players who can shoot and take care of the basketball.

“We’ll focus on building something that will end in a place everybody will be proud of. If our young players play great, then things will move on quickly. If they don’t, then it will move along more slowly,” Hinkie said. “It’s a little early right now. [Noel and Carter-Williams] are both under contract for four years. That allows you to look around the bend a little bit, and look past a turnover or be patient with an injury.”

It will remain a little early for the Sixers to be truly competitive for some years to come. They get the benefit of upcoming draft picks as long as they are not very good, so it isn’t logical to rush the process. They can also delay giving up the two first-round picks they owe - to Miami in the Arnett Moultrie deal, and to Orlando in the Andrew Bynum deal - by continuing to finish poorly. (It is even possible that the Orlando pick will turn into a pair of second-round picks in 2018 and 2019 if they stink long enough. Not sure local patience could stretch that far, but just throwing it out there.)

Among the other undervalued players collected by Hinkie for very little risk are James Anderson, a guard whose resumé is underwhelming, and Tim Ohlbrecht, a 6-foot-11 German national with D-League experience, both of whom were claimed off waivers from Houston.

Reported by Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Canadian hoops squad set to assemble

Canada Basketball is set to open camp ahead of the 2013 Americas Championship for men.

The event will take place in Venezuela and runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 11. The top four teams qualify for next year’s World Cup in Spain.

Canada will tune up for the competition with its camp, which runs from July 31 to Aug. 15 at the Air Canada Centre, and with two games against Jamaica at the Jack Donohue Classic on Aug. 8 and 10 at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.

It’s not yet clear exactly who will comprise Canada’s roster, but NBA players Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Cory Joseph (San Antonio), Kelly Olynyk (Boston) and Joel Anthony (Miami) will be on hand.

Reported by Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun

Wizards, John Wall contract extension likely coming soon

By the end of this week, John Wall should have a full commitment from the Wizards.

They’re expected to make him a designated player by extending him a five-year deal, in addition to the $7.45 million he’ll earn in the final year of his scale contract for the 2013-14 season, that will be worth more than $80 million.

This is Wall’s commitment: “My whole goal, this is my fourth year, I need to be in the playoffs. There’s nothing more, nothing else needs to be said about that. I just need to be in the playoffs. Leaving the season early every year is not fun. It’s no excitement. Just go home and watch basketball.”

Wall made those comments several weeks ago in Las Vegas as he watched the Wizards compete in summer league.

Reported by J. Michael of CSN Washington

Pablo Prigioni very happy to stay with Knicks

Argentine point guard Pablo Prigioni traveled to his home country this week to participate in the NBA’s second Basketball Without Borders Americas event in Buenos Aires. The program, which was first held there in 2005, includes a camp with top youth talent, a Special Olympics clinic and off-the-court outreach work.

While painting a home in a local under-served community on Saturday, Prigioni took a break to speak with ESPNNewYork.com about re-signing with the Knicks, the team outlook for next season and the BWB program.

Q: What are your thoughts on returning to New York?

A: “I’m so excited. It was my first option to try to continue with the team. I think I can give a little bit more to the team now in the second season. I know everything — the system, I know my teammates, my coach. So I’m really excited. I appreciate how they wanted me, how they treat me, so I’m really happy for me and for my family.”

Reported by Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York

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