The Heat and Thunder tip off for Game 3 at 8:07 EDT, so if you’re looking for your NBA news fix until then, here’s the latest from around the NBA.
Be sure to also check out Chris Bernucca’s column from earlier today on how Kevin Durant is the ideal NBA superstar and Chris Perkins’ Five Observations from Games 1 and 2 as well.
- Andre Iguodala is once again rumored to be on the move this summer, says Chad Ford in his ESPN chat today. “Iggy has been on the block the past 2 summers and hearing it again. Might be an option for a team like the Bobcats or even the Wizards … think both teams could use multiple assets. At No. 2 — would be interesting to see what Sixers do. Could see Thomas Robinson, Bradley Beal or Andre Drummond there,” writes Ford.
- In other Sixers news, Lou Williams has opted out of his contract, and there is a good deal of interest in him around the league, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Bob Cooney. “A league source said that the interest in Williams throughout the league is “significant” and that a contract to land him could be “in the Thaddeus Young range.” Before this past season Young signed a 5-year deal worth close to $43 million,” writes Cooney. Center Spencer Hawes has also opted out, about whom Cooney writes that “several sources have said Hawes could garner anywhere from $5 to $7 million a season.”
- From Mitch Lawrence at the New York Daily News: “The Lakers are committed to moving Pau Gasol — the fall guy for their second-round ouster against the Thunder and previous playoff failures — even if they have to take back less talent. As long as [Michael] Heisley retains the Grizzlies, Memphis will always have interest. Heisley has always wanted to bring Gasol back, pairing him with his brother, Marc.”
- Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com examines the possibility of Austin Rivers going to the Celtics to play for his father. “Austin Rivers, with a family name and his own name as one of the nation’s top recruits a year ago, has a very good chance to be chosen in the lottery on June 28. That makes the likelihood of Austin lasting until Boston twin picks, 21 and 22, too distant to seriously consider. Except that he has. Out of curiosity, yes, and out of necessity because a lot of people bring it up to him, sure. But of course playing for his father has crossed his mind,” writes Howard-Cooper. So basically, it’s pretty unlikely, but the slim possibility is still an interesting scenario to think about on Father’s Day.
- Some news about Scott Brooks’ future with the Thunder from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: “Brooks is still working to solidify his own future as Oklahoma City coach. GM Sam Presti wants him back when his contract expires at the end of the Finals, but league sources say Presti has offered a three-year deal worth just under $11 million that Brooks and his agent weren’t willing to accept in the past. They’ve set aside talks for the playoffs, and compromise could come with a guaranteed fourth year. The Thunder needed to see Brooks take one more step with this young team before committing too far into the long term, and Brooks delivered with a conference final victory over the San Antonio Spurs.”
- The Bucks definitely plan to keep Brandon Jennings around, writes Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “[Bucks GM John] Hammond said the Bucks cannot begin contract discussions with Jennings’ agent, Bill Duffy, until July 1. ‘Once that date comes around, we’ll start discussions,’ Hammond said. ‘Until then, we’re not allowed to, and that’s the reason we haven’t. I think we all understand the importance of Brandon, who he is to our organization and what he has done for us.’”
- Really good piece from Buck Harvey at the San Antonio Express-News on Stephen Jackson. Highlight: “Jackson was readying to board a Delta flight in Minneapolis, heading to join the Warriors, when the Spurs called. Popovich told Jackson they were close to completing a deal for him. Popovich didn’t tell Jackson this: The phone call, in part, was to make sure they didn’t hear anything crazy. So Popovich laid out his priorities. He told Jackson he wanted his toughness, and there could be minutes for him. But Popovich also told him he liked Kawhi Leonard as his small forward, and nothing would be guaranteed. Then, Popovich said something else. “We’re not talking about an extension.” This is the power of clarity and honesty. Popovich does it as well as anyone, and it’s a reason Jackson has said Popovich connects with him better than any other coach has.”
- Jeff Green is back to 100% after missing the entire ’11-’12 season with a heart condition, writes Sam Amick of SI.com, and the unrestricted free agent is getting a lot of interest. “Because Green became an unrestricted free agent in December after Boston withdrew its $9 million qualifying offer, teams are already calling [his agent, David] Falk’s office to discuss his possible exodus from Beantown. Free agency negotiations won’t officially begin until July 1, but Falk said he has already had exploratory discussions with ’12 to 14 teams.’”
- More Brandon Roy comeback news from Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld on Twitter: “Brandon Roy will play in the Jamal Crawford Summer Pro-Am this weekend. Other players in the Jamal Crawford Pro-Am include Nate Robinson, Spencer Hawes, Quincy Pondexter, Isaiah Thomas. Good test for Brandon Roy.”
- And finally, here’s a guide to the Thunder’s pregame routine from Jenni Carlson at The Oklahoman. This one is my favorite: “Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka: This pairing is the easiest to see because they’re usually standing at midcourt right before they go onto the court for tipoff. Earlier this season, they changed their routine to “shadow soccer,” kicking around an imaginary ball. “I told Kevin, ‘I love soccer. If you want, we can do the soccer,’ ” Ibaka said. But Durant doesn’t know soccer. “I’m teaching him,” Ibaka said, laughing.”
Dan Malone just completed his sophomore year at University of Kings College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is spending the summer in Baltimore, where he covers the Single-A minor-league baseball team the Aberdeen IronBirds for OriolesHangout.com. He will be blogging for SheridanHoops this summer.