As the offseason continues to wind down, keep checking our index and analysis of every team’s offseason moves.
- Sam Amico of Fox Sports has a piece of Thunder news via Sulia: “Speaking of Kings, Jimmer Fredette would love to go someplace where someone other than just DeMarcus Cousins will pass him the ball. Thunder would love to pry Fredette away from Kings as replacement for Derek Fisher. Kevin Durant is a Jimmer fan.”
- Earlier, John Telich of FOX 8 in Cleveland reported that the Cavs were likely to buy out Omri Casspi. However, that was contradicted later by several sources, including Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who tweeted: “Source tells The Plain Dealer there is no deal yet with Alonzo Gee and the team is not considering buying out Omri Casspi.”
- John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the Hornets have extended coach Monty Williams’ contract: “Hornets Coach Monty Williams agreed to a four-year contract extension Saturday that will keep him with the team with the team through 2016. Before the agreement was reached, Williams had one year remaining on his existing deal that included a team option for a fourth year. Although the Hornets were out of playoff contention by January before finishing with a 21-45 record last season, Williams instilled a work ethic that kept the team competitive down the stretch despite being ravaged by injuries.”
- HoopsWorld’s Joel Brigham talked to veteran Corey Maggette, who is about to start his 13th NBA season and his first as a Piston: “Either way, he’s grateful for a fresh start, even this late in his career. ‘It’s year 13 and still counting,’ Maggette told HOOPSWORLD. ‘It’s a new team and we have a lot of good young talent there.’ … However much he may play this year, Maggette is looking forward to helping these kids grow. ‘[I want to] help out the young guys,” he said. “I was with the team for the last couple of weeks, training with the guys and getting familiar with them. We’ve got a great nucleus, a lot of good people there. I’m just looking forward to the season.’ “
- Donna Ditota of the Syracuse Post-Standard talked with Andray Blatche, who is looking to catch on with an NBA team after being amnestied by the Wizards and going unclaimed. ” ‘It was very tough,’ Blatche said Friday. ‘It seemed like the Wizards had a string of bad luck with the (Gilbert Arenas) gun situation and so on. Me getting amnesty this year wasn’t more of a hurt to me, it was more of a blessing to me. I’m looking at that as giving me a chance to go somewhere else and revive my career and become the player I used to be.’ To that end, Blatche’s mother, Angela Oliver, helped facilitate a connection with John Lucas, who is based in Houston. Lucas, the former NBA guard, coach and general manager, has built a reputation for resuscitating ailing NBA careers. Lucas said he looked at Blatche and saw a familiar reflection. ‘That was me,’ he said, ’26 years ago in the league.’ “
- Another former Wizard, Javale McGee, is also working with a former NBA player in the Houston area, writes Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post: “McGee is a perpetual blocker with eager, elongated arms, similar to Hakeem Olajuwon, who was also 7 feet, also 250 pounds, also wore No. 34 and whom, on that very night, blocked eight (yes, eight) Sacramento shots for the Rockets. While Olajuwon was a perennial all-star, McGee is still trying to make his first All-Star Game. And so, the Nuggets center is spending some of his summer at the home of Hakeem, which for McGee is, pun intended, a dream. ‘It’s definitely an honor to be working with him,’ McGee said. McGee has spent a couple of weeks on Olajuwon’s ranch near Houston, where Denver teammate Kenneth Faried is expected to work out as well this month.”
- Today’s recommended reading comes from Pete Thamel of the New York Times (congrats to Pete on his new gig at SI), who has a fantastic story about former Virginia prep star Jonathan Hargett, who is currently serving the last few months of a five-year prison sentence. Here’s a quick teaser, and be sure to click through to read the full piece: “From the playgrounds of Richmond, Va., to the highest levels of international basketball, the exploits of Jonathan Hargett still resonate. Amar’e Stoudemire, a high school teammate, has called Hargett the best player he has played with at any level. Carmelo Anthony, a summer league teammate when both were in high school, vividly recalls Hargett, a frenetic 5-foot-11 guard with a 44-inch vertical leap and skills that evoked comparisons to Allen Iverson.”