The Evening News: Larry Drew not likely to be retained; Rose “might have a chance” to return against Heat; Nuggets confident in ability to re-sign Iguodala

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Hello and welcome to the Evening News.

As the playoffs continue, we’ll keep you updated every evening. What’s happening today?

Here’s the latest news from around the league:

Larry Drew’s future in Atlanta is doubtful

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Larry Drew and the rest of his coaching staff have begun to explore other job opportunities as their futures in Atlanta look doubtful. Danny Ferry is expected to make a coaching decision on Drew by the middle of this week.

In three seasons in Atlanta, Drew has led the Hawks to a 128-102 record. The Hawks finished as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference despite trading away Joe Johnson in the offseason and losing Lou Williams to an ACL tear in January.

Drew acknowledged following the Hawks’ season-ending loss on Friday that his future with the team was uncertain. Even though he was largely successful in his three years in Atlanta, Drew recognized that  Ferry might want to look for a new head coach.

Last week, rumors swirled that the Philadelphia 76ers would be interested in hiring Drew if he was let go by the Hawks.

Derrick Rose could play against Miami

According to Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com, Derrick Rose has not ruled out playing against Miami in the Bulls’ second round matchup.

“[It's] still up in the air. I might have a chance,” Rose said. 

Tom Thibodeau has already ruled Rose and Luol Deng out for Game 1 tonight in Miami. Kirk Hinrich, meanwhile, remains doubtful to play tonight.

Rose has been scrimmaging 5-on-5 with the Bulls in practice since February 18th and was medically cleared to play two months ago. Last weekend, Rose told reporters that his primary concern in returning was with the lack of muscle memory in his knee.

Rose is cognizant that fans believe he owes it to them to return to the team. He, however, does not want to return too quickly and risk further injury.

“Everybody has their own opinion. The key words that he said is, ‘if I’m ready.’ Right now, I’m not ready so I’m just trying to take my time and just really, really be smart.”

As for Deng, symptoms from the hospital led doctors to believe he has meningitis. He underwent a spinal tap and tweeted on Friday that, “As a result of the spinal tap I suffered the worst headache I’ve ever experienced and been the weakest I’ve ever felt.”

Deng’s status remains day-to-day.

Nuggets will make Iguodala off-season priority

Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post reports that the Denver Nuggets feel confident in their ability to re-sign Andre Iguodala. Iguodala was acquired in the Dwight Howard four-team blockbuster last summer and looked more comfortable on the court with the Nuggets as the season progressed. 

He is scheduled to make $16 million next season but has an early termination option in his deal which will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent. It is widely understood that Iguodala will trade his higher annual salary for the security of a longer contract.

Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri said, “He’s a good priority for us. We’re definitely excited and I think Andre was excited with the way he gelled with the team. We’ve had good conversations with him and we’ll continue to have those conversations. We feel confident. We feel confident with where generally everything is.”

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  1. JunkHead1979 says:

    I love Iguodala in Denver. I think he’s perfect there. They are still missing something though. Possible another big. Is Nicola Pekovic within the realm of possibility? The only issue I see is the fact that Javal McGee already has a high salary. Might be hard to add him. Perfect fit though if you ask me.

    • They should trade Koufos and Mozgov

    • Jacob Eisenberg says:

      Agreed. He’s a great fit for Denver. As one executive within the organization said last month, “Iguodala is like Afflalo on steroids.”

      According to Zach Lowe of Grantland, Nicola Pekovic will be getting somewhere in the ballpark of $10-14 million annually as a free agent. This, obviously, is too much for Denver. Denver also plans to extend a qualifying offer to Mozgov meaning they’ll still have a plethora of centers.

      I think Denver will look for some cheap veteran forwards on short-term deals. Elton Brand, Anthony Tolliver, Josh McRoberts all fit the bill.

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