Archive for February 26th, 2014

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on teams potentially interested in landing the services of Danny Granger:

Clippers, Spurs reportedly want Danny Granger

The Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs are locked in a battle to secure the services of [former] All-Star Danny Granger after the Philadelphia 76ers and Granger completed a contract buyout Wednesday, according to sources close to the process.

Granger is scheduled to clear waivers at 5 p.m. ET Friday. He and the Sixers parted ways less than a week after the 30-year-old swingman was acquired from the Indiana Pacers just before the trade deadline for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.

ESPN.com reported Tuesday night that the Spurs and Granger share a mutual interest, but sources said Wednesday that the Clippers — having lost starting shooting guard J.J. Redick for long stretches this season because of a variety of injuries — hold the advantage of having more playing time to offer. Granger also has an offseason home in Los Angeles.

derrick rose health update

Injured Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has started running, although coach Tom Thibodeau says he’s nowhere near ready to practice.

The former MVP point guard tore the meniscus in his right knee at Portland in November and was ruled out for the remainder of the season by the Bulls. He sat out last year while recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

– Associated Press

Tony Parker should return soon for Spurs

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News with some good news for the Spurs:

Tony Parker should return fairly soon for Spurs

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said All-Star point guard Tony Parker is expected to be back by Sunday’s game against Dallas after skipping the past five games resting his ailing body.

The Spurs play Charlotte at home on Friday before hosting the rival Mavericks. Parker’s return will give the Spurs a full roster for the first time since their home loss to New York on Jan. 2, in which time they’re 15-9.

“We’re getting closer to the normal lineup,” Popovich said.

Here’s a photo of Bill Clinton and Gregg Popovich enjoying some conversation:

Sixers, Danny Granger agree on buyout

Sixers, Danny Granger agree on buyout

According to Philly.com, “The Danny Granger Era in Philadelphia ended quicker than Andrew Bynum’s. As expected, the 76ers and Granger agreed to a contract buyout on Wednesday. The team announced the deal before the 76ers took the floor against the Orlando Magic at the Wells Fargo Center.”

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “The 76ers negotiated a buyout of what’s left of the forward’s expiring contract on Wednesday, six days after he was acquired in a trade with the Indiana Pacers. Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie wouldn’t disclose the buyout amount. Granger, however, was slated to receive around $4 million for the rest of the season. Assuming he clears waivers by 5 p.m. Friday, the 6-foot-9, 228-pounder can sign with a team of his choice. He is reportedly looking at championship contenders: the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs.”

And, here’s a statement from 76ers President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie, regarding Danny Granger:

“His accomplishments and accolades to this point of his NBA career more than speak for themselves, so I would like to express that I have a great deal of respect for Danny Granger as a person. The manner with which he carried himself throughout this process was professional, courteous and respectful, and speaks volumes about his character.

“Following the completion of the trade on Thursday night, Danny traveled to Philadelphia and we had an opportunity to meet with him here. These were in addition to the open lines of communication with his agent Aaron Mintz and CAA while we worked through the next steps.

“Given Danny’s future goals and his desire to pursue them, we worked to fulfill his requests and have come to a resolution that we feel is mutually beneficial to both Danny and our organization.

“We wish Danny the best in the next phase of his career.”

Here’s the Los Angeles Times, via the Chicago Tribune website, reporting on NBA legend Scottie Pippen, who has been dealing with an annoying legal situation:

Scottie Pippen has filed a countersuit against a Malibu man who alleged the former NBA All-Star assaulted him at a restaurant last year.

Camran Shafighi filed a $4-million lawsuit against Pippen, accusing him of a “brutal and unjustified physical attack” that allegedly occurred outside upscale Nobu restaurant after Shafighi had sought a picture with the former Chicago Bull.

But in a cross-complaint filed earlier this month, Pippen’s lawyer Mark J. Geragos alleged Shafighi cursed at Pippen using racial slurs, spat on him and his children and said, “I’m going to kill you.”

The cross-complaint also alleges that Shafighi was “extremely aggressive and noticeably intoxicated” and calls for unspecified damages “according to proof.”

Knicks coach supports Raymond Felton

Knicks coach supports Raymond Felton

New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson said on Wednesday that he stood behind point guard Raymond Felton, who was arrested on Tuesday on gun possession charges, and that Felton would remain in the Knicks’ lineup.

“Bottom line is, Ray is part of our team,” Woodson told reporters after Wednesday’s practice, in which Felton participated.

“As his coach I’m going to support him and make sure he’s doing everything the right way from here on out, and try to get him to concentrate on basketball.”

Felton, 29, was charged after his wife’s divorce attorney took a weapon that was allegedly the player’s and was not registered in New York City to a local police station, authorities said.

– Reuters

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on the Lakers and Pau Gasol, who like any proud veteran is not a fan of getting blown out, even at the hands of a top team like the Indiana Pacers. But this is mostly about the big picture, not one loss:

The relationship between Pau Gasol and Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni, an uneasy truce in recent months, took a turn for the worse Tuesday.

It spilled over after the Lakers were pounded by the Indiana Pacers, 118-98, a promising first half tumbling into a predictable, if not inevitable, ending for the Lakers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse…

Eleven of the Lakers’ 15 players are in the final year of their contracts, a big problem on a losing team, no?

“Probably. That’s part of it,” Gasol said. “But that’s why you have to be disciplined and implement discipline. That’s how you kind of make that better or make that not a factor. I don’t think there’s a lot of discipline right now.”

Teammates needed to be unselfish by making sure the ball was passed to an open player, Gasol added.

“Otherwise it’s really deflating and takes a lot of energy away from individuals,” said Gasol, in the last year of a contract paying him $19.3 million this season.

Nick Young out a few games

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles with an update on yet another Laker who is banged up. Unlike other injuries that kept key players out for long stretches, this time it’s minor and short-term:

Nick Young still is experiencing pain in his left knee and will not play on the Los Angeles Lakers’ two-game road trip against the Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies.

Young, who suffered a non-displaced fracture of the patella and a bone bruise in his left knee Feb. 5 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, played 20 minutes against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday but did not participate in shootaround Tuesday morning in Indianapolis.

“I’d say I was playing through adrenaline,” Young said of the Nets game, when he scored 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting. “[Monday] I felt more pain once I settled down.”

The Lakers are officially listing Young as day to day because of soreness in his knee.

The Sacramento Kings today signed guard Orlando Johnson to a 10-day contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Johnson averaged 2.4 points (.344 FG%, .195 3pt%, .773 FT%), 1.3 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 9.0 minutes per game with Indiana before being waived on February 20, 2014. In his third NBA season, he has accrued career averages of 3.3 points (.380 FG%, .326 3pt%, .741 FT%), 1.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 10.8 minutes per game in 89 contests.

Originally drafted by the Kings in the second round (36th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, Johnson’s draft rights were traded to the Pacers for cash considerations on draft night, June 28, 2012.

Here’s the New York Post reporting on Nets point guard Deron Williams, who appears to have a good head on his shoulders when it comes to gun laws:

deron williams

Don’t expect Deron Williams to make the same mistake Raymond Felton did.

“I got my license to carry in like 26 states, but I’m not bringing my gun to New York City,” Williams said before the Nets practiced at UCLA on Tuesday and before they traveled up the coast for Wednesday night’s game with the Trail Blazers. “I know better than that.”

Felton, the Knicks’ starting point guard, was charged Tuesday with criminal possession of a weapon in the second, third and fourth-degrees.

New York has among the strictest state laws on gun control in the country.

Here’s the Denver Post blog reporting on the Nuggets and head coach Brian Shaw, who likes his players but doesn’t like seeing the squad give up when things look bad:

A new, potentially harmful narrative arose out of a couple of radio interviews Nuggets coach Brian Shaw conducted this week — one that he hates his roster and vice versa.

Not true, he insists.

“I can’t remember who it was that asked me yesterday; he said ‘Would you have taken this job with the roster, if it was just the guys who are healthy and playing right now would you have taken this job?’” Shaw said. “I said, after interviewing for head coaching jobs as many times as I did, 11 times prior to this interview, and not getting a job, I said ‘Yeah, I most likely would have taken it.’ But the expectation and everything else would have been different, knowing if there wasn’t going to be Gallo, JaVale (McGee), Nate (Robinson) for half the season and the situation be what it is.

“So, no, I don’t hate the roster. What I hate is having to beg guys to play. That simple. That shouldn’t be a part of what coaching should be. And circumstances are what they are. None of us asked for it.” …

Shaw: “I’ve always said I can live with the losses, as long as we fight. But what’s hard for me is when we go from a tie or something in the first quarter, to down 20 by halftime, and then we come out in the third quarter and we just give up. And I felt like that’s what some of our guys were doing. Now, it’s important for me to understand that those guys who are continuing to do that, going forward in the future, they aren’t going to get my vote of confidence to keep them here if that’s what they are showing when the going gets tough.”

Bucks, Caron Butler approaching buyout

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the struggling Milwaukee Bucks who, as bad as they are, don’t seem to have a need for the services of Caron Butler:

Bucks, Caron Butler approaching buyout

Milwaukee Bucks swingman Caron Butler is scheduled to complete a contract buyout Wednesday that sets him up to become an unrestricted free agent by the end of the week, according to sources close to the talks.

Sources told ESPN.com that Wisconsin native Butler, who is earning $8 million this season on an expiring contract with his home-state Bucks, is on course to be released by Milwaukee on Wednesday and thus clear waivers Friday, well in advance of the Saturday midnight deadline by which time he must be set free to be eligible to play in the playoffs with another team.

Here’s News 10 reporting on some changes the Sacramento Kings may be set to make:

The Sacramento Kings are expected to sign shooting guard Orlando Johnson on Wednesday, once they complete a buyout of Jimmer Fredette, two sources tell News10.

Fredette and the Kings were still negotiating a buyout on to release the former BYU star on Tuesday evening. Kings head coach Michael Malone said before Tuesday’s game against the Houston Rockets that Fredette and the team will likely part ways on Wednesday.

According to two sources with knowledge of the situation who are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, Sacramento will then sign Johnson, who was recently waived by the Indiana Pacers. The signing is believed to be a 10-day contract.

The Memphis Grizzlies have re-assigned guard Jamaal Franklin to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team announced today. This marks the rookie’s third assignment to Fort Wayne this season.

Franklin (6-5, 191) has recorded 10.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 24.3 minutes in three games through his first two assignments with Fort Wayne.

Drafted by Memphis in the second round (41st overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft, the 22-year-old has averaged 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds in 7.9 minutes in 19 appearances for the Grizzlies.

Wizards sign Drew Gooden to 10-day contract

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed forward Drew Gooden to a 10-day contract.

“We will rely on all of our frontcourt players to step up and contribute as we go through this stretch without Nene,” said Grunfeld. “Signing Drew gives us size, shooting ability and experience to add to that mix.”

Gooden (6-10, 230) has played 11 seasons with Memphis, Orlando, Cleveland, Chicago, Sacramento, San Antonio, Dallas, the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee, appearing in 687 career regular season games (493 starts) while averaging 11.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 27.0 minutes per contest. He has shot .465 (3,213-6,913) from the field and .759 (1,634-2,154) from the free throw line. The former fourth overall pick (2002 by Memphis) last played during the 2012-13 campaign with Milwaukee, where he averaged 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 16 games. Gooden has averaged 10.5 points and 8.2 rebounds in 27.1 minutes over 44 career postseason games with Orlando, Cleveland and San Antonio, including a run to the 2007 NBA Finals with the Cavaliers.

So many times this season, the Minnesota Timberwolves failed in close games down the stretch.

On Tuesday night, they turned the tables on the Phoenix Suns.

Kevin Love fell an assist shy of his second triple-double in three games and the Timberwolves used a fourth-quarter outburst to beat the Suns 110-101.

Love, whose first career triple-double came at Utah on Saturday, had 33 points and 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who trailed by eight with 7:57 to play, then outscored the Suns 24-6.

He knew late in the game about that one missing assist.

“I think when we were up 10 they told me that if I can get an outlet here, you get your triple-double,” Love said, “but at the point I just wanted to secure the rebound and get to the free throw line, get the lead up a little bit more so we wouldn’t have to worry about much. Nine assists again, I have been there a few times.”

– Associated Press

James Harden drops 43 on the Kings

James Harden spent the fourth quarter smiling on the Houston Rockets’ bench. DeMarcus Cousins finished the final period in the Sacramento Kings’ locker room.

Their performances were just as different on the floor, too.

Harden scored a season-high 43 points in three quarters, and the Rockets routed the Kings 129-103 on Tuesday night after Cousins was ejected for vehemently arguing with an official.

“These are the type of wins that we need, especially late in the season, to lock down and focus,” Harden said.

Harden helped Houston go ahead by 25 points in the first quarter, 31 in the second and 33 in the third. He shot 11 of 20 from the floor, made 15 of 16 free throws and added eight assists, three steals and two rebounds.

– Associated Press

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