Tag: Portland Trail Blazers

Dwight Howard, John Wall

Report: Team USA uncertain whether Dwight Howard, John Wall will attend minicamp


Damian Lillard doesn’t sound like someone who will attend Team USA’s minicamp next month.

He might not be the only one.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said camp attendance – though not necessarily on-court participation – was mandatory for players to make the 2016 Olympic team.

If Dwight Howard and John Wall don’t show up, they’re probably out for the Rio Games. They surely know that, though Colangelo’s rules are only as binding as he wants them to be. Given how he has run the program in the past, though, I wouldn’t test him.

Wall didn’t make the World Cup roster last year, and he wasn’t pleased. There was a report Howard intended to play in the 2014 World Cup and maybe 2016 Olympics, but he wasn’t even in the player pool for the World Cup.

Both Howard and Wall are talented enough to make Olympic roster. But if they don’t attend the minicamp, that’s probably the end of their association with USA Basketball.

Wesley Matthews says Trail Blazers never made him an offer, “I was pissed off”

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Three

Wesley Matthews brings his “3&D” game — and his ruptured Achilles still on the mend — to Dallas next season.

Matthews had been a vital part of Portland’s success the past few seasons. So much so that when he injured his Achilles last season the team went from everybody’s favorite dark horse contender in the West to the team that still got the four seed and made Adam Silver and the NBA rethink rewarding division winners. It wasn’t just his on the court play, his leadership in the locker room was huge in Portland.

Which is why he thought they would try to keep him, but they didn’t Matthews told Jason Quick and the Oregonian. And that ticked him off.

He had hoped he could return to the city that had embraced him, to the team with players he considered brothers, to the franchise where he grew into one of the NBA’s most well-rounded and respected shooting guards. But in the end, after five seasons, the feeling was not mutual. He was greeted with silence. No phone call. No text messages. The Blazers never made an offer.

“I was pissed off,” Matthews said. “I felt disrespected….”

The only chance the Blazers would pursue Matthews, top executive Neil Olshey later explained, was if free agent LaMarcus Aldridge chose to return, maintaining Portland as a playoff-caliber team. When Aldridge chose San Antonio, the Blazers decided to rebuild. Paying big money to a 29-year-old shooting guard coming off major surgery didn’t make long-term sense.

For Portland, this makes total sense. Once Aldridge chose to go home to Texas they needed to strip the entire thing down and make Damian Lillard the focus of a rebuild. And if Blazers owner Paul Allen is hesitant about paying big money to injured players, it’s hard to blame him (Greg Oden, Brandon Roy).

That Portland never made a phone call means by July 1 Olshey knew Aldridge was long gone.

Matthews makes sense for Dallas, a team that when it first contacted Matthews thought it might get the pieces this summer to give Dirk Nowitzki one more run at a ring. While that didn’t work out (in dramatic fashion), Cuban pitched Matthews as being a cornerstone of the future in Dallas. That sold Matthews, he told the Oregonian in this fantastic story detailing his summer recruitment.

History of players coming back from an Achilles injury suggests this is going to be a challenging season for Matthews. Even if he can stay healthy — which is not always easy, see Kobe Bryant for example — it’s an adjustment learning what your body can and can’t do the same way. His game will need to adapt.

Where Matthews really may start to pay off for Dallas is next summer — he’s the kind of person and player other guys want on their team. Having him in house is a good recruiting tool when Mark Cuban and the Mavericks knock on the doors of the next big free agents.

Chris Kaman has new reality show, to air on Mark Cuban’s network

Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Lakers

That is a clip of the reality show… well, let’s stop right there. Chris Kaman’s reality is not like anyone else in the NBA’s. When he first signed his deal last summer with Portland, he asked how the pig hunting in the area was. In Dallas, he tried to bond with Dirk Nowitzki by taking him hunting. He may own more guns than some small nations.

That makes for good reality television, so Kaman put together the “Exploring Kaman” Web reality show. It’s something Kaman himself described this way:

“I think someone who would watch this would think there is something wrong with me and something wrong with my friends.”

The show has been picked up by Mark Cuban’s AXS TV, and the network will run six episodes, reports CSNNW.com. Here is how the press release describes it.

Throughout the six-week run, the series gives viewers a front-row seat on this one-of-a-kind adventure, as the NBA big man and his buddies catch a 20-pound tuna in Cabo San Lucas; romance local senoritas… with disastrous results; and deal with bruised egos, clogged toilets, and more, as they attempt to reel in a 1,000-pound marlin while keeping their friendship—and sanity—intact. With his witty personality and passion for fishing, Kaman is the perfect guide for this immensely entertaining journey that is as heartfelt as it is hilarious.

Cuban likes people who just speak their mind, even if all those people do is spout nonsense.

What might have been a better reality show is the first 10 days of the Mavericks’ free agency this year.

Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Kimmell all star in latest Foot Locker ad

adidas Damian Lillard NBA All-Star 2015 2 Sq

Pretty good ad — you have to love Jimmy Kimmell in this one. While Damian Lillard has had some spots before, Andrew Wiggins getting a little screen time is nice.

By the way, they filmed that in Long Beach, I’ve played pickup on that court before, there’s some pretty good run. Come to think of it, I may have dressed a lot like Kimmell did.

Who is still out there: Top 10 free agents still on the market

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four

At this point in what has been a fast-moving summer, most teams are just rounding out the final couple spots on their rosters. The guys at the end of the bench who may not see much playing time once the season tips off. Yet, there are still a few interesting free agent targets still on the market — a couple at the top of the list who could play significant roles for the Cavaliers next season. But even farther down are solid, veteran reserves still trying to find a chair for next season before the music stops.

Here’s our updated list of the top 10 guys still on the market.

1) Tristan Thompson — The Cavaliers and Thompson are still haggling, but a deal will get done — because LeBron James wants a deal to get done. Thompson is a restricted free agent but neither of the teams with a lot of cap space — Philadelphia and Utah — will use it to make him a big offer. He doesn’t have a ton of leverage. Plus the Cavs are deep into the luxury tax now, so every dollar spent on Thompson comes with an additional price. Kevin Love got maxed out and Thompson saw what Draymond Green got, but he’s going to have to take less than those guys to get a deal done.

2) J.R. Smith — He likely regrets opting out of the $6.4 million in the final year of his deal because he is going to take a pay cut (and very likely be on a one-year deal). He is still expected to re-sign with the Cavaliers, with whom he met last week, in part because there is not a strong market for the classic volume scorer (those Lakers rumors that popped up online Tuesday were pure fantasy, LA is not interested).

3) Jason Terry — In the wake of the Ty Lawson trade it has been expected around the league Terry would reach a deal as a reserve in Houston, but that has yet to be finalized. In fact, the Rockets renounced their rights to him (he can still sign with Houston, the Rockets cannot offer more than any other team now, however). He may not defend much anymore, but he did shoot 39 percent from three last season.

4) Carlos Boozer — He’s much maligned by fans for his shortcomings (particularly on defense), but he still averaged 11.8 points a game shooting nearly 50 percent last season for the Lakers. As a scoring big off the bench who can run the pick-and-pop Boozer has value. The Mavericks, Knicks, and Rockets are reportedly interested.

5) Kevin Seraphin — A solid, traditional, backup big who thought there was a healthy market for him outside Washington where he played behind Marcin Gortat. Turns out not really. The Knicks, Lakers, and Wizards are reportedly still interested on some level.

6) Darrell Arthur — Denver is expected to re-sign him this week. He averaged 6.6 points a game last season for the Nuggets, plus he is a solid defender who plays a smart game. As a reserve at the four he makes a lot of sense.

7) Dorell Wright — The small forward shot 38 percent from three last season for Portland, but he played a limited role for that team. Coming off hand surgery, there hasn’t been much of a market for him.

8) Andre Miller — He had some early talks with the Sacramento Kings, but it seems unlikely he goes back to his friend George Karl after the Kings picked up Seth Curry. Miller is a high IQ, veteran reserve point guard that some team will eventually pick up, but the league is deep at that position, and there aren’t many openings.

9) Norris Cole — He’s a restricted free agent who may end up playing in New Orleans next season on the qualifying offer, and then will test the market again next summer. He played pretty well for the Pelicans at the end of last season (9.9 points a game, shot 38 percent from three) and would back up Jrue Holiday. There have been talks with the Sixers, but are they going to make an offer large enough that the Pelicans will not match it? Not likely.

10) JaVale McGee — Dallas reportedly has shown interest, and other teams may as well, but only if he can pass a physical and prove he’s healthy. His contract was bought out by the Sixers, so he’s getting paid anyway, will he be motivated?