Tag: Nazr Mohammed

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Clippers

Ryan Hollins says Lakers, Spurs, Bulls among teams interested in him


For much of last season, Ryan Hollins was one of the first bigs Doc Rivers had to go to off the bench with the Clippers — and the fact he played 7.9 minutes a game should tell you why Doc went looking for help. Big Baby Glen Davis took the role by the playoffs. This season Spencer Hawes and Ekpe Udoh are massive upgrades.

Which means Hollins is looking for a new gig.

He was on the Bottom Line Sports Show on SiriusXM NBA Radio this weekend and said a number of teams are interested.

Sure thing, Ryan. We’ll just say not all of those are great fits.

The Heat have the roster spots available technically (only 11 guaranteed contracts but a few guys like James Ennis that are still likely to make the cut) but they have Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen at center, not sure that’s a fit.

The Spurs… just no.

Along those lines I can’t see Tom Thibodeau playing Hollins much plus they have Joakim Noah and Nazr Mohammed at the five spot, plus are talking to Miroslav Radulijca and Gustavo Ayon,. The Lakers have roster spots but is Hollins good depth behind Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre (maybe they play Ed Davis at the five if they go small)?

The Kings… maybe but they have guys coming to camp they reportedly like better. They start DeMarcus Cousins and then can give minutes to Jason Thompson or whoever.

Basically, somebody is going to call Hollins either during camp or during the season, he’ll get a chance, but it will be because said team feels out of options.

Heat meet with free agent big man Ryan Hollins

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Clippers

Ryan Hollins has played for six teams in his eight NBA seasons for two primary reasons.

Players who are seven feet tall and have any sort of ability will continue to get chances at the professional level, because as the saying goes, you can’t teach size. But once teams have had Hollins in house to see up close what he has to offer, he doesn’t tend to last very long, which has led to his bouncing around the league.

The Miami Heat, still desperate for some backup big man help, have become the latest team to give Hollins a serious look.

From Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

Still in search of veteran depth at center, the Heat on Friday summoned 7-0 center Ryan Hollins to Miami to meet with Erik Spoelstra and his staff, according to a person briefed by the team. No offer was made Friday or Saturday but Hollins remains under consideration. …

The Heat auditioned veteran center Nazr Mohammed a week ago and also has inquired about free agent center Andray Blatche. The Heat is very intrigued by free agent center Emeka Okafor, but ESPN has reported he might not play until midseason because of a bulging disc in his neck.

Okafor is the best of the bunch when healthy, but it’s unclear when he’ll be available. Blatche would be a fine addition too, despite the knucklehead factor, but it would be tough to see him signing up for a minimum deal with Miami given his skill set.

Hollins played for the Clippers the last two seasons, and averaged just 7.9 minutes per contest in 61 regular season appearances most recently. He’ll be most remembered in Los Angeles, however, for unfortunate plays like these.

Heat ask about Andray Blatche, work out Nazr Mohammed

Brooklyn Nets v Miami Heat

The Heat, with only minimum contracts available, want to add a shooting guard and a big.

They got their shooting guard in Shannon Brown.

The big? A few candidates are emerging.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

The Heat, looking to add another veteran backup center, summoned 6-11 Nazr Mohammed, [36], for a workout and meeting with team executives on Thursday.

Among free agent centers, the Heat is most intrigued by Emeka Okafor.

The Heat also has inquired about 6-11 free agent center Andray Blatche, who has a home here.

Mohammed played 80 games for the Bulls last season, setting a record for fewest minutes per game (7.0) by someone who appeared in so many games. At 36, the role he can handle is likely only shrinking.

Okafor is reportedly out until midseason, limiting his value to the Heat. They’re going to be jockeying for playoff positioning, so early games matter. (Life without LeBron is harder).

Blatche is playing – well and amusingly – in the World Cup for the Philippines right now. This is essentially an audition for him. Perhaps Miami has moved on from players of his profile, but Blatche certainly has the most upside of the group. That’s always difficult to turn down.

Report: Pistons would trade Josh Smith if they could

Josh Smith, Brandan Wright

Josh Smith is having the worst season of his career.

Playing far too much small forward, a position he can handle only in select matchups, his defense has really fallen off. Though Smith defends power forwards well, his his lack of speed on the perimeter kills his ability to chase wings around screens. He’s also taking way too many jumpers and not getting inside enough, an issue that exists no matter which forward position he’s playing.

Some of that is Smith fault, and some of that is the Pistons’. But it’s all the Pistons’ problem.

The Pistons signed Smith to a four-year, $54 million contract last summer, and they’ll have to pay him all that money – or find someone else to do it.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

The Josh Smith experiment in Detroit is not going well, and there’s strong opinion around the league that the Pistons would trade him if they could — and “could” is the key word. Since Smith is in the first year of a four-year, $56 million deal, he is one of the most untradable players in the league.

If the Pistons are desperate to trade Smith, that’s something people around the league would know, because that would mean the Pistons are calling around to shop him.

That would also jive with the Pistons’ reported plan to keep Greg Monroe.

Here are a few Smith trade ideas, from least appealing to most appealing from a Pistons perspective:

  • Smith to the Celtics for Gerald Wallace (three years remaining on his contract) – with Keith Bogans (zero remaining guaranteed years) included to make salaries match
  • Smith to the Knicks for Andrea Bargnani (two years remaining)
  • Smith to the Bobcats for Ben Gordon (expiring contract)
  • Smith to the Suns for Emeka Okafor (expiring contract whose salary is partially covered by insurance)

Some of those players would make the Pistons a little better, some a little worse. But that’s not the point here. These deals are totally about the contracts.

Gordon would be the most interesting deal of the four. The Pistons actually traded Gordon and a first-round pick to Charlotte to clear the cap room used to sign Smith. The Bobcats could really use a power forward, and Smith would fit relatively well in Charlotte.

But would Dumars so publically admit a mistake? After all, the series of transactions – trading Gordon and a pick for Corey Maggette’s expiring contract, signing Smith, trading Smith for Gordon – would essentially leave the Pistons nothing to show for their troubles except a lost first-round pick.

In a completely logical world, those previous moves wouldn’t matter. They’re sunk costs. If trading Smith for Gordon improves the Pistons’ outlook now, they should do it.

Obviously, it doesn’t always work that way.

But much earlier in his tenure, Dumars’ biggest strength was his ability to admit and fix mistakes.

  • He whiffed on the Mateen Cleaves pick, but sent the former Michigan State point guard to the Kings after just one year for Jon Barry (a strong backup during the Pistons’ resurgance) and a first-round pick that became Carlos Delfino.
  • The next year, Dumars drafted Rodney White, another bust. Again, he traded White after just one year to the Nuggets for a do-over first-rounder – which was eventually part of the Rasheed Wallace trade and, coincidentally, used to select Smith.
  • When Ben Wallace left Detroit, Dumars gave Nazr Mohammed a long contract to replace him. But after just a season-and-a-half with the Pistons, Mohammed was sent to Charlotte for spare parts.

Would Dumars repeat that productive, though self-deprecating. approach here? Would he admit his mistake and dump Smith for simply a shorter contract?

Perhaps the better question: Can he?

Heat begin title defense with opening night blowout win over Bulls

LeBron James

The Bulls were one of the fashionable preseason picks to dethrone the Heat this season, considering the return of Derrick Rose, the way Chicago has historically defended under Tom Thibodeau, and the fact that Miami is trying to become the first team to reach the Finals in four straight seasons since the Celtics did it 27 years ago.

Chicago may very well round into form over the grind of the 82-game season and ultimately give the Heat some problems. But they are a long, long way away from that goal, and opening night in Miami showcased that fact.

While the Bulls struggled to find their rhythm offensively, the Heat’s team defense looked ready to defend the team’s back-to-back titles from the opening tip. Miami had no trouble in its first game of the season, and led by as many as 25 points before ending up with the 107-95 opening night victory.

The scary thing for the rest of the league after this one might be the fact that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh didn’t have dominant individual performances offensively. They finished with 17, 13, and 16 points respectively, and did so combining to shoot less than 50 percent from the floor.

Instead of the stars taking over under the national spotlight, it was the bench of the Heat that was the difference in this one. While the Bulls were forced to roll out rookie Tony Snell (who was brutal), Nazr Mohammed, Kirk Hinrich, Taj Gibson, and Mike Dunleavy, the Heat countered with veterans who were more than capable of producing. Miami’s bench outscored Chicago’s 42-26, and did so by shooting a much higher percentage.

Derrick Rose returned to his first regular season NBA action since suffering a torn ACL injury in the 2012 playoffs, and while he looked explosive early, he struggled against the swarming team defense of the Heat. Rose finished with 12 points, four assists, and five turnovers in 34 minutes of action, while getting the majority of his looks from outside. Rose ended up just 1-of-7 from three-point distance, and shot just 4-of-15 from the field overall.

What this game showed more than anything is that the Bulls have a journey ahead of them to get to a level where they can challenge an elite team like the Heat. Miami showed us that despite the long offseason, the fact that the majority of the championship roster returned intact makes it seem like they’re already several steps ahead of their would-be challengers.