UPDATE (9:10 EST): Scott Schroeder of NBA FanHouse and Ridiculous Upside offered his take on the Spurs’ situation:
[For what it’s worth], I’ve been told Spurs haven’t decided on Larry Owens for sure. It’s pretty likely, but not confirmed by anyone. Yet.
7:25 EST: Zabian Dowdell scored the honor of being the first D-League call-up of the season almost a week ago, but Larry Owens may not be far behind. According to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, Owens could soon be called up by the San Antonio Spurs, making Owens the first call-up following the D-League Showcase.
San Antonio is among the most embedded NBA teams in terms of the D-League relations. They operate their very own D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros, and have been pretty creative in retaining talent in order to use the Toros as a true farm team. Owens himself isn’t a member of the Toros (he plays for the Thunder-affiliated Tulsa 66ers), but the Spurs clearly have an understanding of the value of the D-League as a resource and a player pool, and could be dipping in soon to offer Owens a 10-day contract.
Owens should fit right at home in San Antonio, tucked away in the corner to fire away from three-point range. He’s made 37.7% of his three-point attempts during his two-year D-League career, and an impressive 46.4% mark from long range during last season’s D-League playoffs (during which Owens led the 66ers all the way to the D-League Finals). On top of that, Owens is a solid positional rebounder and a long defender, making him a suitable complement for the Spurs’ array of talented players. Owens won’t play much if at all, but he certainly fits the San Antonio mold of the role-player-in-waiting, ready to step in and contribute at the first sign of injury trouble.
The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.
Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:
Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.
Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).
But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.
Could those issues derail his career?
Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”
On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.
But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.
The Hawks began last season with just two point guards, one fewer than most teams – especially notable because neither starter Dennis Schroder nor backup Malcolm Delaney was experienced for his role.
Schroder and Delaney return, but Atlanta is adding another option – Quinn Cook.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Cook is a borderline NBA player. He might not make the regular-season roster. He also might supplant Delaney for a rotation spot.
A 24-year-old who has spent most of the last two years in the D-League (also getting stints with the Mavericks and Pelicans), Cook is a good outside shooter. He’s also steady, if unspectacular, in his lead-guard duties.
This is a solid flier at a position the Hawks could use depth.
The Knicks signing Nigel Hayes leaked first.
But New York didn’t stop there.
The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed forwards Jamel Artis and Nigel Hayes and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.
Like Hayes, Artis (Pittsburgh) and Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) went undrafted this year – making them eligible to be waived and assigned to the Knicks’ minor-league affiliate. That’s likely all three’s fate.
But first, each will have an opportunity to make the regular-season roster. The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one roster spot for someone on a standard contract. Chasson Randle (unguaranteed) is the incumbent choice, but these three could supplant him.