Author: Kurt Helin

Francisco Garcia

Report: Francisco Garcia looking at options, including return to Rockets


Francisco Garcia didn’t contribute that much to the Rockets last season, in part due to injuries and in part due to the fact he doesn’t provide much except hitting threes (65 percent of his shots were from beyond the arc and he his 35 percent of those). Still he opted out of the second hear of his contract in Houston to see what free agency might hold for him.

It looks now like he will make a choice soon… and it could return to Houston.

There has been interest from Utah but the Rockets have had talks with Garcia, his agent Aaron Goodwin told the Houston Chronicle.

“We’ve talked about him,” Goodwin said of conversations with the Rockets. “Francisco is just looking for the opportunity to continue to play toward a championship. We’re looking through his options, seeing what would be the best opportunities for him. He definitely has interest in the Rockets.”

Garcia opted out of a veteran minimum contract and will get the exact same deal now, the only question is where. There’s a comfort level there for both sides and for Garcia he gets to play on a quality team that will win a lot of games in a hotly contested West.

The Rockets have the roster space with a number of non-guaranteed deals, however there is time and another team could step in and tempt Garcia with a situation he likes better. Probably not, though.

Chris Paul on boycott if Sterling is still owner: “That’s something me and Doc are both talking about”

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers interim CEO painted a bleak picture on the witness stand this week — if Donald Sterling still owns the team when next season starts it could lead to a “death spiral” of players, coaches and sponsors boycotting and trying to get out.

Chris Paul wants you to know that’s not just hyperbole.

The Clippers All-Star point guard and team leader was in Las Vegas this week and spoke to ESPN about the possibility of a boycott if Sterling is not removed by the opening tip-off of next season.

“That’s something me and Doc are both talking about,” Paul said on Thursday after coaching his AAU program, CP3. “Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soon — sooner rather than later….

“We’re all going to talk about it,” Paul said. “We’re all definitely going to talk about it. Doc, Blake [Griffin], DJ [DeAndre Jordan]. It’s unacceptable.”

Much like Parsons on the stand it benefits Paul — the president of the players’ union — to talk tough and paint a bleak picture here to keep pressure on the league. The owners and players are on the same page here, Sterling is bad for the other owners’ business and nobody wants to be answering questions about him when the season starts. But it never hurts for the players to keep some pressure on the owners here.

However, that doesn’t mean Rivers, Paul, Blake Griffin or anyone else is eager to blow this thing up, something PBT has heard from multiple sources. Doc Rivers isn’t looking to bolt down the hall at Staples Center. The Clippers core realizes they are a team on the cusp and believe they have a real title shot as a group in the next couple of years.

If Donald Sterling is the owner come the start of the season the players may want to make a statement.

Which is another reason the league will not let it get to that.

The NBA hopes the judge in the probate case between Donald and Shelly Sterling (which has closing arguments next week) will rule in the coming weeks for Shelly and do so in such a way to make Sterling’s appeal nearly impossible (something he can do and Shelly’s lawyers have pushed for). Do that and the league will approve the sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion quickly and Donald’s other lawsuits will be reduced to a nuisance. He will be out and that is a much cleaner process for the league and its owners.

If the judge rules for Donald or leaves the door open for an appeal process that could drag out, the league can always just take the step it was going to originally and have the other owners vote to revoke Sterling’s franchise. (This is something they can do because being an NBA owner is like being admitted to a country club where the other owners can choose who gets to be in the club.) You can be sure a smart lawyer like Commissioner Adam Silver knew he had the votes to do this before he suggested it back when this first broke.

The league reportedly has let Shelly Sterling and Ballmer know that if by Sept. 15 this is not resolved and the team is not under new ownership then the league will proceed with the vote to out Donald and re-do the sale through a blind bid (although that likely brings in less money this time around).

One way or another they want Sterling out by the start of the season.

In part to avoid what Chris Paul might do.

Thursday And-1 links: All-Star logos, Pharrell Williams, Carmelo Anthony as anchor on Knicks

2015 All-Star logo
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Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers believe in bullet points more than Wizards fans believe Kevin Durant is theirs in 2016….

• The NBA released the logo for the 2015 All-Star Game in New York and Brooklyn, and it plays off the subway sign transportation theme. You can see it to the right. I like it.

• Pharrell Williams will curate the music for NBA 2K14, and you can follow this link to see the Kevin Durant cover.

• Why Carmelo Anthony’s contract could be an anchor for the Knicks.

Philadelphia has signed point guard Pierre Jackson, it’s a one-year, partially guaranteed deal.

• Warriors point guard Shaun Livingston is sidelined for a month with a sprained big toe.

• The Kings have until Saturday to decide whether or not to keep Quincy Acy.

• Al Harrington says he has recovered from left shoulder surgery and is trying to catch on somewhere.

• My wife would have killed me.

There’s a rumor going around that once the  NBA gets a new, expanded television deal they will add two teams in Seattle and Louisville. I wouldn’t bet the rent on that.

• The Spurs have hired one of the brightest minds in European basketball, Ettore Messina. Because that brain trust wasn’t deep enough already.

• Russell Westbrook has his own line of sunglasses.

• Among the things that need to be factored into a free agent is the tax rates in a various states — you pay a lot higher rate in California or New York to make big bucks than you do in Texas or Florida. Tax rates are not as big a factor as some fans think, but it is a factor. And the NBA doesn’t plan to do anything about it.

• We can’t run the video here for language reasons, but watch Kobe Bryant beat a fan in horse while talking smack.

• Dwyane Wade and a dolphin. Because we can.

• In maybe the best signing of the off-season, the AT&T Center in San Antonio is hiring an air conditioning specialist. Not that they won’t take how Game 1 of the Finals worked out.

• Louis ‘Red’ Klotz — the man behind the Washington Generals of Harlem Globetrotters fame — has passed away.

• Phoenix has waived Dionte Christmas.

• Jeremy Pargo inked a two-year Maccabi Tel Aviv (the reigning EuroLeague champion, which was where David Blatt coached last season).

• Finally, JaVale McGee dunks in his dreams.

Report: John Wall added to roster for Team USA training camp in Las Vegas

John Wall, LeBron James

John Wall is a great fit for Mike Krzyzewski’s Team USA style — lightning fast with the ball, fantastic in transition and a guy who can overwhelm opponents with his athleticism.

Wall has become a late edition to the Team USA roster that will open training camp in Las Vegas next Monday in preparation for the FIBA World Cup of basketball coming in late August in Spain, reports Marc Stein at ESPN. Wall was not on the list released a couple of weeks ago by USA Basketball.

Wall averaged 19.3 points and 8.8 assists a game and made a leap forward with his game, hitting 35.1 percent from three and working better with Bradley Beal to form a formidable backcourt that led the Wizards to the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Team USA is Marianas Trench deep at the guard spot. Some very good players are not going to Spain.

At the point the USA has Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose and Wall. If you’re thinking “we can just move Curry to the two guard slot” know that James Harden, Klay Thompson and Bradley Beal are in that slot (and Kyle Korver, but we’ll count him as a three).

Wall could make this team, but Krzyzewski has no easy call to make in the backcourt, pretty much any combination of that group would be devastating.

It’s official: Jameer Nelson signs with Mavericks, says: “I’m just preparing myself to make open shots.”

Jameer Nelson

UPDATE 6:57 pm: It’s official — Jameer Nelson is a member of the Dallas Mavericks for the upcoming season.

5:49 pm: Quality shots have been hard to come by in Orlando the past couple seasons. Ever since Dwight Howard left there hasn’t really been a Magic player that demanded a double team or forced you to adjust your defense.

Jameer Nelson thinks that impacted his three point shooting this past season. He also expects things to be different in Dallas.

Nelson is meeting with the Mavericks Thursday and, has been expected, they are going to reach a deal soon, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

In Dallas there are players that demand double teams — Dirk Nowitzki every night, Monta Ellis some nights — and guys who can benefit from the better looks like Chandler Parsons, Tyson Chandler and now Nelson. The point guard talked about that with Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning NewsA.

“My 3-point percentage hopefully will go up playing with better guys,” he said. “The looks will be there. Dirk will draw a lot of attention. Monta draws a lot of attention. Chandler Parsons, too. Everybody’s going to draw attention, so somebody’s going to be open. I’m just preparing myself to make open shots.”

Nelson is going to split time at the point with Raymond Felton and Devin Harris (plus you can be sure Ellis will serve as a defacto point guard at times). The guy who does not turn the ball over, defends a little and knocks down the open threes will get the lion’s share of the minutes.

That could be Nelson. He can’t do it for 30+ minutes a night anymore, but for 20-25 he could be a guy Rick Carlisle leans heavily on as the season moves along.