NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION NEWS & NOTES

Tony Parker will go into the Hall of Fame as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. But there are still some question about whether Parker will actually play in San Antonio next season.

The veteran guard is a free agent heading into this summer, and several teams have some interest in Parker as a backup guard.

According to ESPN, both the Charlotte Hornets and Denver Nuggets have interest in Parker as a way to bolster their guard rotation heading into 2018-19.

Via The Woj Pod, h/t to Dime for the transcription:

Parker’s gonna be an interesting one because they’re trying to figure out in San Antonio what they’re doing. Can he sit around and wait for that? There is some money — Charlotte’s got some interest in him, Denver might have a little interest. Now Denver, they’re looking for a backup point guard so that might be a veteran — minimum guy, but Charlotte has an exception. They’ve got some money, and James Borrego, the new Charlotte coach, coached him with the Spurs. And there’s others. There’s not a team in the league who wouldn’t love to have Tony as a backup.

It’s hard to say what value Parker has at this time. He is 36 years old and coming off of a year which he missed parts of due to a quad injury, a leg issue that sort of nag away at a vet.

His decision is likely up to how much Parker thinks he has left in the tank, and what his projected role will be within the Spurs organization next year vs. what other teams can offer if they indeed approach him. By Dane Carbaugh

It’s the summer time and while much of the attention has been focused on last week’s NBA Draft and the insanity that has been free agency, there are a number of other guys in the League who are just trying to get some run in to take their games to new heights. While pro-ams aren’t quite what they once were a decade ago and private, more controlled runs are the new fad, the city of Atlanta is still holding it down with the AEBL. Sunday’s epic battle between budding star Jaylen Brown and Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams reaffirmed that.

Finishing with a cool 50 points, it was Lou Will’s team that came away with the W. He drilled a number of deep threes from well beyond the NBA line, showed off his deadly pull-up, and had a number of explosive drives to the rack that made you remember that he’s still got some bounce left at 31-years old. He also dropped a number of dimes to ex-Hawks high flyer Josh Smith, who was out of the League this past season, but is looking to land on roster in ’18 as a new-age forward.

The Celtics’ emerging star Brown dropped 30 points himself in the loss and showed why there is so much optimism around him as one of the League’s best young two-way players. He pulled his best Shep impersonation from Above The Rim, putting on his jersey right over his clothes and going to work on the hardwood. JB had countless punishing dunks, slashed to the rim at will, and even strapped up to play some D. He teamed with Lorenzo Brown, who was fresh off of winning the G League MVP and showed that he owns a handle that most 6-5 point guards could only dream of.

Peep the highlights above, courtesy of Take Flight Hoops.

The summer is just beginning for the AEBL, though. Now in its sixth season, the league has served as a platform for guys such as Brown, Collin Sexton, and Wendell Carter to get a run in against NBA players before their official debuts. Kyrie Irving came to team with Lou Williams to win the ‘chip last year, leaving the imagination open as to which stars will be making the journey to take part in the AEBL playoffs when they roll around later this summer. By 

The conversation surrounding NBA playoff seeding has reached its zenith now that LeBron James has become the latest in a long line of Eastern Conference stars to defect west.

In fact, according to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports, only one* single NBA player with an All-NBA 1st-Team nod under their belt currently plays in the Eastern Conference… and no it’s notGiannis Antetokounmpo but Joakim Noah.

The question at hand is whether the league should think long and hard about ditching the current system that seeds eight teams from each conference separately in favor of one that seeds the best 16 teams in the league, regardless of conference, 1-16.

According to Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press, the most concerning aspect of making such a change would be the increased travel for teams in the postseason. Per league commissioner Adam Silver, such a change would add an overall total of 40K travel miles for teams in the postseason.

Currently, the league says it averages about 90K miles of total travel, noting that the regular season mark comes in significantly higher at 1.4MM miles.

Of course changing the playoff structure would likely mean that the league would be obligated to balance the regular season schedule between conferences, too, something the league estimates would add an additional 150K miles of travel between October and April.

That doesn’t mean that it couldn’t still be worth it. Mavs owner Mark Cuban doesn’t see the problem (h/t Kurt Helin of NBC Sports), arguing that the league’s smartest decision in the past decade was to extend the season to allow for more time off between games. Playoff schedules, he says, could be similarly optimized when necessary.

Our question for Hoops Rumors readers, then, is what they think of the debate? Would the NBA benefit from ditching the current format in order to accommodate 1-16 seeding irrespective of conferences?

Let your voice be heard.

Since this tweet, Dwight Howard has committed to the Wizards, so technically two.

The Pistons will waive backup point guard Dwight Buycks, Michael Scotto of The Athletic reports. The 29-year-old averaged 7.4 points and 2.0 assists per game off the bench for Detroit in 2017/18.

Had he remained on the roster through September 1, his minimum deal for 2018/19 would have become guaranteed.

While Buycks battled for key reserve minutes behind de facto starter Ish Smith last season, the return of a healthy Reggie Jackson bumped him further down the team’s depth chart.

With Buycks out of the picture, the Pistons will rely on Jackson and Smith, with recently signed veteran Jose Calderon available for spot minutes.

As for Buycks, who had been out of the NBA since 2014/15 prior to catching on in Detroit, it’s back to the open market.

The Celtics extended their $6MM qualifying offer to Marcus Smart in the days leading up to free agency but haven’t been in touch since, Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald writes. That’s left the 24-year-old guard feeling “hurt” and “disgusted”.

While the comments originating from a source close to Smart’s camp could be ripped straight from a Pre-MBA Negotiations 101 textbook, there could be truth to them considering that Smart just watched his significantly less accomplished draftmate Dante Exum net a three-year deal with the Utah Jazz.

He’s just hurt and frustrated that Danny Ainge hasn’t reached out. That’s the most discouraging part of this whole thing. The last contact was a few days before free agency started,” the source said.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • The Sixers will be flush with cap space next summer, when a number of players signed to one-year deals come off their books. But, as Bobby Marks of ESPN notes, they may not get a large window to use that $42MM of projected space. In 2020, the club will be forced to pay up for restricted free agents Ben Simmons and Dario Saric.
  • While he’s always been one to play footloose and fancy free with the concept of traditional player positions, a vision Knicks boss David Fizdale shared with Marc Berman of The New York Post could be one of the most innovative yet. The head coach talked about playing Mitchell Robinson and Luke Kornet – both seven footers – together, with Kristaps Porzingis at the three and 6’9″ rookie Kevin Knox at the two. “Obviously, I have a crush on wingspan,” Fizdale said.
  • It’s official, Jonah Bolden, a 2017 draft-and-stash Sixers prospect, is officially on Philadelphia’s summer league roster, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets. By Austin Kent

As one of the most experienced players in the league, Dwight Howard is expected to be the wise old man his teammates should be looking up to. But to say that Howard is a locker room model is akin to saying that Shawn Kemp is an expert in the field of family planning.

The chiseled big man has, through the years, garnered the reputation of being a petulant figure, who continues to be perceived by his peers, coaches, and several from the media as a child trapped in a muscular 7-foot-, 260-pound frame. It’s not too late for Howard to change his ways, however, and it’s something that he seems to be looking forward to doing in Washington Wizards uniform, according to NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller during a recent Wizards Tipoffpodcast (h/t Michaela Johnson of NBC Sports).

It could be just a matter of time before the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard finalize their divorce by way of a trade, but so far, the Spurs have not received an offer enough for them to cough up the superstar forward. Not even a package from the Boston Celtics that includes Kyrie Irving and a future pick did not seem to provoke the Spurs from pushing the eject button on Leonard, according to Dan Lifshatz of 985thesportshub.com.

It was reported late last month that the Spurs had conveyed to teams that they’re only going to budge if the package offer contains Jayson Tatum, though, the belief was that Boston would rather give up Irving than one of the best youngsters in the league right now. Well, that’s exactly what the Celtics did, but to no avail.

It’s unsure how this news would affect Irving’s relationship with the Celtics’ front office, knowing that Boston is shopping him in exchange for another superstar, who’s not even guaranteed to remain with them past the 2018-19 season. Irving, on the other hand, also has one more year left on his current deal before hitting the free agent market in the summer of 2019.

Irving has also been rumored to be eyeing a move to the New York Knicks, so if anything, Irving possibly getting alienated by this news is a plus for the Knickerbockers if they are also going to pursue the All-Star point guard next year.

Kyrie Irving is still in the process of recovering after going under the knife back in April to take out a couple of screws from his left knee. He averaged 24.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in 60 games for Boston last season. By 

 

Shortly after the Dallas Mavericks landed Luka Doncic via a Draft-night trade with the Atlanta Hawks, they knew they might have to wait a while to get him on the court. That continues to be the case for Doncic, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2018 Draft, but there seems to be progress on that front as well.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle spoke with reporters today as the Mavs gear up for the NBA Summer League opener against the Phoenix Suns tomorrow night (9:30 ET, ESPN). Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News reports that Carlisle is hoping Doncic can complete the next steps to become eligible to play soon:

Coach Rick Carlisle cracked open the door just a sliver that first-round draftee Luka Doncic could play in the MGM Resorts Summer League in Las Vegas, but said there still are numerous hurdles that need to be cleared.

Doncic has yet to participate in any live practices for the Mavericks for a myriad of reasons.

“He needs to have his buyout completed with Real Madrid, he needs a FIBA letter of clearance, he needs a physical and he needs to sign a contract,” Carlisle said before the Mavericks headed to Las Vegas, where they open summer league action Friday against Phoenix. “We’re getting close to getting those things done. But we’re not there yet.”

“He has not had a live practice yet, but he will be in Vegas,” Carlisle said. “He is going to continue to ramp up his workload and there remains a possibility that he could play. But to what percentage I could guarantee that, I just can’t. I’m not going to go there.

“But that’s where things are. And remember, this guy just got done playing 10 days ago or whatever. This is the set of facts that we’re looking at.”

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