Archive for June 21st, 2014

Zach Randolph still may look like a 14-year-old kid when you look at his face from certain angles, but the big veteran power forward has game, and the Grizzlies hope to keep him around. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Grizzlies hope to sign Zach Randolph to contract extension

The Memphis Grizzlies are hopeful of coming to terms on a contract extension with former All-Star forward Zach Randolph before free agency starts July 1, according to sources close to the situation.

Randolph must decide by June 30 whether to opt out of the final season of his contract, which is valued at $16.5 million, but sources told ESPN.com that the Grizzlies are working to hammer out the specifics of an extension with Randolph before the 32-year-old is exposed to other potential bidders.

If the Grizzlies are intent on lowering Randolph’s salary starting next season, such a deal would have to wait until after July 1 to be completed and require Randolph to opt out, become a free agent and sign a new long-term deal at a reduced rate. If the Grizzlies are prepared to wait until the 2015-16 season for Randolph’s salary to be reduced, they could extend him for up to three years at lowered terms after he opts in for 2014-15 at the $16.5 million.

The season of signing, trading, drafting, etc. is rapidly approaching. League-wide, roster-flipping fun will soon be upon us. Here’s Yahoo Sports reporting on the Bulls:

Bulls reportedly seek trade for Arron Afflalo

The Chicago Bulls are pursuing a trade for Orlando Magic swingman Arron Afflalo, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Afflalo, 28, has two years left on his contract – including an Early Termination Option (ETO) provision next summer – and front office executives believe the Magic are prioritizing a trade for Afflalo over working to extend his contract.

It is unclear how the Bulls’ pursuit of Afflalo would impact the franchise’s free-agent interest in New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.

With the draft and free agency soon approaching, rosters are going to start shifting around, and reports about specific targets that various teams have will start to materialize. Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Nets and Cavs:

Nets, Cavs discuss a Marcus Thornton, Jarrett Jack trade

The Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers are discussing a swap of guards Marcus Thornton and Jarrett Jack, according to sources briefed on the talks.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Nets, amid fears that they’ll be unable to re-sign Shaun Livingston in free agency, have identified Jack as a prime target to either help fill the void or improve their backcourt versatility.

Elfrid Payton could interest the Magic

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on the Magic:

When Elfrid Payton entered his senior year at John Ehret High School outside New Orleans, he wasn’t even the most highly regarded guard on the varsity basketball team.

Payton was only 16 years old, and he looked more like a junior-high student than a potential Division I recruit. He measured 6-feet-1 and only 145 pounds. Indeed, most recruiters focused instead on his backcourt mate, a player named O.C. Tart.

But Tart got into trouble midway through the 2010-11 season, and Tart’s suspension forced Payton to play a bigger role. Payton led Ehret to the state semifinals, and his play netted him a scholarship offer from Louisiana-Lafayette.

These days, Payton ranks as one of the better point-guard prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft, and he could entice the Orlando Magic when the team makes its second pick of the first round, at 12th overall.

Joel Embiid has surgery on right foot

Top prospect Joel Embiid had surgery on the stress fracture in his right foot Friday, and now he waits.

He waits to see how far he falls in the NBA draft Thursday night. He waits to see how long it will be before he can hit the court again. He waits to see how he responds to an injury that has a history of giving NBA big men problems.

The Kansas center, who was in the running to be taken No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, had two screws inserted into the navicular bone in his right foot at Southern California Orthopedic Institute, according to a release distributed by agent Arn Tellem.

– Associated Press

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