Rockets GM says Luis Scola isn't going anywhere

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There’s a buffet of free agents this summer. A smorgasbord. A plethora. A myriad. There’s quite simply a free agent for anything you need. They slice! They dice! They make french fries, too!

But if you were hoping your team might make a swing at Rockets forward Luis Scola, you can kill those dreams, put them in a box and bury them in a deep, dark hole right now.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Daryl Morey is under owners from owner Leslie Alexander to do whatever is necessary for the Rockets to re-sign Scola this summer. From the Chron:

“He
will be back,” Morey said. And in case that were not clear enough, Morey
added the weight of owner Leslie Alexander’s marching orders to his
prediction.

“Leslie
gave us the resources and said whatever it takes,” Morey said. “He’s
back.”

Strong words from Morey. Scola will be 30 at the end of this month, so any deal will likely take into account his age and longevity. At the same time, Scola’s not dependent on terrific athleticism, but instead accuracy, fundamentals, and smart, high-effort play. It’s entirely possible that his game will be able to remain viable throughout the length of an extension.

 The only concern of course, as hinted in Jonathan Feigan’s article above, is the possibility of a Spanish team making a run for him with their notorious willingness to approach NBA players looking for greener pastures. But with Daryl Morey’s track record, the smart money is on the Rockets to keep Scola in the fold.

You may resume crying, Spurs fans.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.