Plan A remains to go after Deron Williams, the unrestricted free agent of the Nets, who happens to be a Dallas native. Williams will have options and could help the Nets move to Brooklyn if he thinks the team is moving in the right direction, or he could go to Dallas, or wherever else he can get a max deal.
Plan B is the restricted free agent, Hibbert.
Which is a great plan save for the part where the Pacers can match any offer, have plenty of cap room and are not about to give up their young All-Star Center. So while Dallas can make an offer, the Pacers will just match it and keep him.
Hibbert is going to get a nice pay raise next season. If DeAndre Jordan commanded $10 million on the open market last year, you would have to think Hibbert will get $12 million a year or more.
Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic taken off court on stretcher after gruesome leg injury
Most importantly, it is bad for Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic, who midway through the second overtime with Brooklyn went down with what can only be described as a gruesome injury, one that looks like a shattered tibia but could be more than that and worse.
Nurkic had gone up for an offensive rebound and came down awkwardly, his leg bending in ways that it should not bend. He laid on the floor in pain, was carted off in a stretcher — with the crowd sending positive vibes — and taken directly to the hospital.
Coach Stotts says that Nurkic is “at a local hospital” right now… Adding, “it’s devastating”
Nurkic got paid last summer, a four-year, $48 million deal — but unlike others who take their foot off the gas once they get their money, Nurkic came back better and more motivated. He has averaged a career-high 15.4 points per game this season on 50.7 percent shooting, and on the defensive end he moved better and was more of a presence. He has been Portland’s second best player for stretches of the season.
Portland had looked like a more dangerous playoff threat this season and Nurkic was a big reason. Now, that edge is gone.
Magic shut down 76ers in second half, win 119-98, stay close to playoff berth
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A little desperation went a long way for the Orlando Magic.
The Magic shut down the Philadelphia 76ers in the second half of a 119-98 victory on Monday night that moved them within a half-game of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
“They were desperate. They played like it and we did not,” said 76ers coach Brett Brown, whose team was held without a field goal for a second-half stretch of nearly 12 minutes. “Nik Vucevic is a really difficult matchup and (Evan) Fournier really had a fantastic night. Their desperation was evident.”
Vucevic had 28 points and 11 rebounds, and Fournier scored 24 points for the Magic, who outscored the 76ers 30-5 while Philadelphia missed 15 straight shots.
“It’s impressive, especially when you look at all the firepower they have, even without Ben Simmons,” Vucevic said. “We needed this win with a tough road trip coming up, starting tomorrow night in Miami.”
The Magic completed their first 5-0 homestand in franchise history and moved a half-game behind Miami in chasing the final playoff spot in the East. They visit the Heat on Tuesday.
Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Playing without point guard Simmons, the 76ers led 60-57 after shooting 61.5 percent in the first half. The second half was a different story.
“I thought we went away from what was working to get those field goals (in the first half),” said Tobias Harris, who had 12 of his 15 points in the first half. “But that game wasn’t won or lost on the offensive end for us. That game would have been won on the defensive end. We didn’t do a great job against them.”
Shake Milton‘s jump shot cut the Magic’s lead to 78-77 with 4:32 left in the third quarter, but Philadelphia did not score in the remainder of the period, falling behind by 14 points.
When Zhaire Smith hit a 3-pointer with 4:50 remaining in the game, it ended a stretch of 11 minutes, 42 seconds without a field goal for the 76ers, who then trailed 108-85.
“I think the urgency has not been with us,” Brown said. “It happens. As I candidly said, we’re trying to hold on to our third-place position, and land the plane and keep people healthy.”
J.J. Redick, who scored 79 points and made 18 of 29 3-pointers in the 76ers’ first three games against Orlando this season, made only 1 of 7 Monday night and finished with eight points.
“He’s not going to miss those very often, but we’ll take it,” said Magic coach Steve Clifford.
David Griffin, Danny Ferry reportedly among candidates for Pelicans GM job
This coming offseason will set the tone in New Orleans for years to come. Maybe the next decade.
The Pelicans are going to trade Anthony Davis, and 25-year-old franchise cornerstone, top 10 NBA players (top 5 when healthy and playing a lot) do not become available often. What direction the Pelicans go with that — young players/picks to jumpstart a rebuild, or veterans to help win more and stay afloat now — is a big question. Another is just who and what they actually get back in the trade.
The new GM in New Orleans is going to set that tone.
Who is that going to be? Fletcher Mackel of NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans heard there will be five or six people considered, and he heard four names.
Today @PelicansNBA owner Gayle Benson said the franchise will soon look at 5-6 candidates for the GM job. Talking to multiple @NBA sources I trust, I think four of the people Gayle is referencing (under consideration) are: Danny Ferry David Griffin Trajan Langdon Gersson Rosas pic.twitter.com/DultH9yikl
Danny Ferry, the interim GM for New Orleans right now (taking over after Dell Demps was fired), has experience in the big chair. He retooled the Hawks roster into a 60-win team without bottoming out and tanking, although the team could not sustain that level of play. He was fired under less than ideal circumstances (to put it kindly).
David Griffin, the former Suns and Cavaliers GM, is the biggest name on the board. He told NBC Sports a couple of months ago he’s only taking a job that is a good fit.
“As I look at it now, the thing that would attract me to an opportunity is just the opportunity to be in lockstep with ownership,” Griffin said. “To have ownership, the coach, and the front office all on the same page moving forward and sharing a vision…
“You have to raise a family, and if you’re not going to come at it with that approach it’s probably not a situation that would speak to me.”
Would owner Gayle Benson and Micky Loomis — the NFL Saints executive who also oversees the Pelicans — give him that kind of power and freedom? Benson said she wants someone in that position who can run the basketball operations side and have autonomy, but saying that and doing it are different things. Also, Griffin is not going to come cheap, the small market Pelicans would have to pony up to keep him.
Gersson Rosas is the right-hand man of Daryl Morey who was briefly the GM of the Mavericks (there was a misunderstanding there and he returned to Houston) and he has been in the running for the openings with the Pistons, Sixers, and other jobs. He is highly respected around the league.
Langdon is the assistant GM of the Nets, a team that has had a very impressive rebuild.
Whoever gets the GM job, a big part of it will be managing Benson and Loomis. For example, there are reports the Pelicans’ brass refuses to trade Davis to the Lakers (his preferred destination, based on the effort by his agent to get him there at the trade deadline). If the Lakers have the best offer — and it is possible the new GM values players such as Brandon Ingram or Lonzo Ball higher than Demps — then the Pelicans should take it. What matters in New Orleans is the return, not who gets Davis. It’s the GM’s job to help the owner and her advisors to see past any frustrations with the process.
Raptors reportedly sign Jodie Meeks for remainder of season, playoffs
This is a “break glass in case of emergency” signing, but it never hurts to have another shooter on the bench.
Back in February, journeyman sharpshooter Jodie Meeks signed a 10-day contract with the Raptors. In limited run across two games he looked pretty good, scoring 10 points against Orlando, five against Boston, and shooting 3-of-8 from three. He played like a comfortable veteran, but Toronto didn’t want to sign him for the rest of the season at that time to save on luxury tax.
Now that the season is growing short he will be back in Toronto for the rest of the regular season, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Free agent guard Jodie Meeks has agreed to a deal with the Toronto Raptors for the rest of the season, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA@Stadium.