SH Blog: Tony Parker could miss Olympics, Amare Stoudemire’s DM under investigation, trade rumors

The Miami Heat celebrated their NBA Championship with a parade today. With that, the story line of the 2011-2012 season finally came to a conclusion, which means the beginning of everything else from free agency to trade rumors. See the latest on Kyle Lowry, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Brandon Jennings and more in the news items below.

  • Chris Sheridan described Amare Stoudemire’s poor use of judgment in yesterday’s news, and now the NBA will investigate, according to Marc Berman: “A source told The Post the NBA plans to look into the authenticity of a profane direct message allegedly sent by Amar’e Stoudemire to a fan over the weekend. Stoudemire allegedly called the fan a homosexual slur in the direct message, which was forwarded to via photo. A Twitter direct message is visible only to the recipient, unlike a normal Twitter post which can be seen by anyone.”
  • Tony Parker may have to miss the Olympics due to the eye injury suffered in a night club incident, from The New York Times:   “French basketball team leader Tony Parker could miss the Olympics because has not recovered as fast as expected from an injury to his left eye. The San Antonio Spurs guard was injured in a New York nightclub 10 days ago and said he eventually had to undergo surgery to have a shard of glass removed from his eye, which he was at risk of losing.” Parker had expected to be back training after a week-long rest but said on Sunday he was still sidelined and may have to withdraw from the London Games.”
  • The story isn’t out yet, but Howard Beck tweeted the following about J.R. Smith: “JR Smith will decline Knicks option but intends to re-sign for longer term w/NY, source says. Story posting soon.”
  • Chris Bosh didn’t think he would return after suffering an abdominal strain, from Ira Winderman: How close were the Heat to being a Big Two for the majority of the playoffs? Chris Bosh said on ESPN Radio he thought he was finished when he was injured in the series opener against the Pacers. “I thought I was,” he said. “I was thinking it’s no fair, because I thought it was our year. It was ours to lose pretty much this year. It was very challenging . How my mind reacted … it can wear on you. When the doctors told me the best-case scenario that’s what I thought of from that point on.”
  • Winderman also explains why the Heat are unlikely to use the amnesty rule any time soon: “The luxury tax does not become particularly punitive until a year from now, so there is no rush. Beyond that, if Mike Miller retires due to injury or affords the Heat an injured-player exception, then there is no need for immediate luxury-tax amnesty relief. Beyond Miller, the only contracts that might make amnesty sense would be Joel Anthony or Udonis Haslem, and then only nominally so. More likely is banking the one-time amnesty right in case of a sudden decline by one of the Heat’s stars. There simply is no rush at this stage.”
  • Kyle Lowry openly disapproved of playing under Kevin McHale when the season ended, and rumors are starting to percolate, according to Chad Ford and Marc Stein: “Although sources stressed that no deal is imminent, Sacramento (No. 5) and Toronto (No. 8 ) have let Houston know that their top-10 selections are available. Sources say that the Rockets, in turn, have made both of their first-round picks available (No. 14 and No. 16), but the key to any trade going through could be point guard Kyle Lowry. The Raptors have been especially fond of Lowry, who has been regarded for months as a borderline untouchable in Houston but more recently has publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with Rockets coach Kevin McHale. Whether the Rockets are indeed prepared to part with Lowry, as talks with the Kings, Raptors and other teams continue, figures to be one of the bigger stories of draft week.”
  • The Rockets’ ultimate goal may be to acquire the service of Dwight Howard, which is no surprise to Zach Lowe: “The Rockets have long been willing to deal for Howard without any up-front assurance that he would sign there long term. I have never heard anything to dispute reports that Houston was at least in the ballpark of a Howard blockbuster ahead of the March 15 trade deadline — until Howard opted in with the Magic for next season, effectively delaying the issue again. Howard is a transformational player, worthy of such a risk, especially in a market that (like most NBA markets) has very little history of luring the best free agents via straight-up free agency, despite the best efforts of Houston general manager Daryl Morey and his crew.”
  • Despite belief that Brandon Jennings may leave the Milwaukee Bucks based on his past comments, he is very opened to the idea of staying: “But Jennings has since become more favorable about remaining with the Bucks, who took a gamble on him by making him the 10th overall selection in the 2009 NBA draft. Asked if he wants to sign an extension with the Bucks, Jennings said, “If everything is right, why not? If my agent (Bill Duffy) comes back and says this is what we should do, I’m going to do it.”
  • Steve Nash to the Raptors may be a story with traction, writes Randy Hill: “Meanwhile, several NBA personnel executives have confirmed that the Nash-to-Toronto rumors may have real traction. “I’ve been hearing that from people that would know,” said one Western Conference sharpie, sounding very much like the rest of us. “The Raptors may not be ready to win right away, but with (Andrea) Bargnani, (DeMar) DeRozan and maybe (Jonas) Valanciunas coming over next season, they could be pretty decent right away with Nash. And they could have enough cap space to get something done there.”
  • Brian Windhorst explains that there is mutual interest between the Heat and Ray Allen, but money will be an issue: “According to multiple league sources, there is mutual interest between Allen and the Heat. The most the Heat can offer is a contract starting at $3 million per year, which is known as the taxpayer’s midlevel. Allen could get more money elsewhere, but the Heat offer an attractive portfolio that goes deeper than cash. But before you consider how Allen might look in a Heat uniform, take a moment to get a more well-rounded view of the situation. A big issue is just how much money is the team is willing to send to its competitors in luxury-tax payouts to add Allen or any other free agent. It is a championship team as is, and its payroll is ballooning even without adding players.”
  • Rumors of Jeff Van Gundy and Phil Jackson as possible coaching candidates for the Thunder were shot down by Sam Presti, from Darnell Mayberry: ““To me, it’s rubbish,” said Presti, the Thunder’s general manager, when asked about recent reports listing the two former coaches as possibilities. Brooks’ contract expires Saturday. But the two sides postponed negotiations while the team was competing in the NBA Finals. Now that the season has concluded, Presti called Brooks’ contract the organization’s top priority. And, again, Presti stressed during his season-ending news conference with reporters how valuable he believes Brooks has been in helping to build the Thunder.”

Thunder’s state of mind

Dan Le Batard’s epic rant



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