According to ESPN’s Chris Sherdian, the Miami Heat are currently attempting to reach a buyout agreement with forward James Jones in order to free up more cap space. After unceremoniously dumping Daequan Cook for cap space recently, buying out Jones would mean that Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers will be the only Heat players technically under contract for the 2010-11 season. (The Heat are reportedly looking to move Beasley as well.)
But with formal contract extensions unviable, L.A. was always going to have to play out the season and hope those players remained committed into July.
There might be a hitch in that plan.
That Griffin would also stay and reap the biggest payday he can seems likely, too—in theory. But more and more people around the league believe he would be open to a fresh start—perhaps with the Lakers or the Boston Celtics, who have coveted Griffin for years and would offer a new chance to win.
Does Ding have credible information to suggest Griffin could join the Lakers or Celtics, or is that just speculation on the writer’s part about potential fits? It’s unclear. This is already fairly loosely sourced.
But we should gather more information quickly once free agency begins. Griffin reportedly planned to re-sign quickly. If he shows the faintest hint of exploring the market, that could open the floodgates.
Griffin had been frequently linked to his home-state Thunder, but Oklahoma City would interfere with his burgeoning Hollywood connections.* The same issue would exist with Boston, though obviously not the Lakers. That said, the Celtics are WAY better than the Lakers – and maybe soon the Clippers and Thunder, considering those Nets picks headed to Boston.
The Clippers are in a bad place right now. One one hand, that forebodes another disappointing end to the season. On the other hand, there’s still time to overcome and send Griffin into free agency on a more positive note.
These are dangerous times for the Clippers, who wouldn’t have cap space to adequately replace Griffin, Paul or Redick if one leaves. So, if one bolts, the others seems more likely to follow. Interpersonal relationships matter, but the Clippers’ primary selling points were always going to be money and winning (with Hollywood proximity a bonus). Winning gets harder if talent walks.
They can still offer the most money, and they’re not leaving L.A. But the Clippers better win more to help avoid what could be a tenser-than-expected summer.
Incidentally, Phoenix also made history.
Against the Nets last night, the Suns started:
The previous youngest was the Clippers’ starting five consisting of guards Eric Bledsoe and Eric Gordon, forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and Blake Griffin, and center DeAndre Jordan, who averaged 21 years and 143 days old in a matchup with the Nets on November 15, 2010.
The young Suns gained quality experience – and helped their team to an important loss, 126-98 to Brooklyn.
Phoenix is still 1.5 games “behind” the Lakers for the No. 2 seed in the lottery, but the Suns are within striking distance in case the Lakers screw up and win too much down the stretch.
Georgetown fired John Thompson III – a totally reasonable move considering the program’s fall, but also a stunning decision considering a Thompson had led the Hoyas 40 of the last 45 years.
John Thompson Jr. still holds influence at Georgetown, and there will be desire to limit the radicality of this shakeup. That’s no easy task in what had become a family program.
A possible solution: Hire Patrick Ewing, who starred under the elder Thompson, excelled with the Knicks and is now associate head coach of the Hornets.
Georgetown officials plan to consider the head-coaching candidacy of the university’s most legendary basketball alumnus, Patrick Ewing, sources told The Vertical.
Ewing, 54, has long been committed to pursuing an NBA head-coaching job and moved closer to getting one with the Sacramento Kings in the spring. Only the sudden availability of Dave Joerger, whom Memphis fired, stood between Ewing and a formal offer, league sources said.
Ewing – who has worked under Steve Clifford in Charlotte, Stan Van Gundy with the Magic, Jeff Van Gundy with the Rockets and Doug Collins with the Wizards – has long coveted an NBA head-coaching job. He had an illustrious career and put in his time as an assistant. Not long ago, that would have gotten him a top job. Now, it merely gets him interviews, and Ewing has yet to close.
Will that change? His close call with the Kings is a positive indicator, but they were desperate with established coaches avoiding them. It doesn’t mean other NBA teams will pick Ewing over a bevy of options.
Georgetown would give Ewing a chance to prove he can lead an entire program after being pigeonholed as a big-man coach. If he wins there, NBA teams would become more interested. His deep professional experience, playing and coaching, means he won’t risk being labeled just a college coach. Plus, returning to his alma mater could be fulfilling.
But the Hoyas could look elsewhere rather than handing the job to someone with no college-coaching experience. As Ewing surely knows by now, there’s no easy path to the top for him.
Three-time NBA champion — turned agent and podcaster in his own right — B.J. Armstrong joins me in this latest podcast and we get into a lot of different topics: late Bulls’ GM Jerry Kraus, the triangle offense in today’s NBA, his being an agent for Derrick Rose heading into free agency, his time in the elite eight with Iowa, and there’s even a Luc Longly story.
We also get into how Armstrong is busy post playing days, both as a Wasserman basketball agent and as a podcaster, he has a new show with Ric Bucher. He’s also working with a company called Cycle where he gives 24-second talks on NBA topics.
As always, you can check out the podcast below, or listen and subscribe via iTunes (just click the button under the podcast), subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out our new PBT podcast homepage and archive at Audioboom.com.