Jameer Nelson is not in the future plans of the Orlando Magic, which is why he’s on everybody’s trade watch lists for this season.
The Magic are rebuilding with youth, he is a 31-year-old point guard making a team-high $8.6 million this season but can be bought out for $2 million next season. (Yes, technically Hedo Turkoglu could make more than Nelson if Turkoglu is not bought out, but that’s another story and he’s not around the team). It was a little bit of a surprise the rebuilding Magic re-signed him to a three-year deal before last season, but he wanted to stay and they wanted to smooth the transition.
Nelson is available by trade. So are Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo — Magic GM Rob Hennigan is not giving them away for pennies on the dollar, but you can get them for a package that helps the Orlando rebuilding process.
Nelson knows the situation he told the Orlando Sentinel (via Eye on Basketball):
“I’m just here right now,” Nelson said. “That’s my goal: to be here as long as I can. Like I said in past years, I love it here and I definitely would like to stay. I understand things happen and it’s a business. Right now, I’m here and my job is to help lead and to help get these guys where we need them to be as a team and as an organization.”
The Magic had rookie Victor Oladipo playing point in some scrimmages, Nelson can certainly be a mentor and help that process along for now. But it sounds like Nelson knows what is coming.
The quote above is from a guy who sounds like he knows what is coming and has a “go bag” packed near the door for when he has to suddenly hit the road.
Nelson is still a very good pick-and-roll point guard when he is aggressive and looks for his shot. But he can get passive on offense and he’s not a great defender (he’s strong but not relatively quick). For teams looking for point guards — or contenders thinking about a quality backup — Nelson may be the guy. At worst, you can get out cheap next season.
If you’re looking at guys to be traded this season, Nelson should be near the top of your list (along with a few other Magic players).
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.