Less than 14 months ago, the Boston Celtics were one win away from a trip to the NBA Finals. Two players remain from that team.
The Celtics prevailed against Philadelphia on that Saturday in May, 2012, with Rajon Rondo recording a triple-double after Paul Pierce fouled out with 4:16 to play and the Celtics clinging to a three-point lead. It remains the last playoff game played by the 76ers, who failed to make the postseason in 2013 and appear headed in a similar direction for 2014, 2015 and maybe longer.
Hello and welcome to the Evening News.
As free agency continues, we’ll keep you updated every evening.
What’s happening today?
The dog days of summer seem to be upon us. The main attraction in free agency (Dwight Howard) is over with, and with considerably less drama than we might have expected given the last couple years. Chris Paul stayed put, the Celtics and Jazz were gutted, the Nets and Clippers beefed up even more. There’s still a few players who aren’t sure where they’re going, most notably Brandon Jennings, but apart from a couple guys, everyone is just looking to fill a few bench slots. To figure out which impact players might be available, check out Moke Hamilton’s list of the top 25 players available. There’s also the usual summer league chatter, which is about as useful as it ever is, and is the closest thing we’re going to get to actual NBA games for another couple months.
Once the last few dominoes finally topple, the writers and editors of Sheridan Hoops will provide you with some definitive lists of who won and who lost, but for now, I’m here to keep you updated on just what is going on with Nikola Pekovic and Metta World Peace. Enjoy. Those two are included in today’s blog, along with all the rest of the latest news from around the NBA:
- The Josh Smith signing may have been somewhat questionable, but what it signaled is not: the Pistons believe they’re back. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe looks at what the Pistons need to take that next step, and one other move they might like to make: “The Pistons are quite interested in Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, but they don’t have a package to offer that would attract president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to making a deal. The Celtics would presumably ask for emerging center Andre Drummond, who is as close to untouchable as a younger player can get. Detroit would like to send the Celtics Brandon Knight and an expiring contract, but that wouldn’t be nearly enough. Detroit doesn’t have a first-round pick to offer because of the Ben Gordon deal that gave the Bobcats the choice of a Pistons draft pick over the next four seasons.”
Tried to stay low, but #pistons aren’t giving up Drummond for Rondo. Not happening.
— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) July 14, 2013
- What’s next for the Knicks? Frank Isola of the New York Daily News tells us: “The Knicks are in position to give World Peace the remaining part of their mini- mid-level exception, which is worth approximately $1.7 million. The Knicks used the other half of their mini-mid-level to re-sign Pablo Prigioni. Knicks GM Glen Grunwald wants to add another point guard and the club recently reached out to former Knick Nate Robinson, according to a league source. Robinson is not expected to return to the Chicago Bulls because Derrick Rose is now healthy.”
- More on that topic from Marc Berman of the New York Post: “Knicks executive Larry Johnson admittedly is worried, unsure the Knicks have done enough to keep pace with the Eastern Conference stalwarts, specifically the Nets. And he said he believes the addition of Metta World Peace would be a perfect step. Johnson, who spends his summers in Las Vegas as UNLV’s most famous basketball alum, is with the Knicks summer league team while aiding MSG Network’s coverage. “I think that’s what we need to do,’’ Johnson told The Post of adding World Peace, who was amnestied by the Lakers. “That would be a great addition for us. This guy is a proven champion. He’s won. Off the floor, he had some problems. He did some things off the floor that wasn’t supposed to be done, but I think he’s got this life in the right place. To get him right now would be a great addition to our team as far as strength, outside shooting, perimeter defense instead of [Iman Shumpert] always guarding guys.’’ “
- Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports seems to think Metta to the Knicks is inevitable: “Metta World Peace is expected to meet with New York Knicks executives in Las Vegas within the next two days, pushing the free-agent forward closer to an eventual contract agreement with the Knicks, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Knicks are the strong frontrunner to sign World Peace to a veteran’s minimum deal of $1.4 million for the 2013-14 season, sources said. A possible deal could include a second year with a player option, league sources said.”
Source close to Metta just told me MWP definitely wants to play for Knicks. Clippers fairly distant 2nd, China 3rd
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 14, 2013
- Interesting note on how the Rockets’ second-tier stars, particularly Omer Asik, will mesh with the newly-acquired Dwight Howard, and what Daryl Morey plans to do about it, from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: “General manager Daryl Morey insists he is not looking to deal guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik in the wake of signing Dwight HowardHe has cited Lin’s ability as an attacking guard as a good fit with Howard. He has talked about the value of Asik’s defense off the bench. On Saturday, he added another reason. “The reality is James (Harden) and Dwight (Howard) want to play with Jeremy and Omer,” Morey said. “I’ve been kicked down to assistant GM. They’re going to be here.” “
Status quo on the Pek front: His side has Wolves’ offer, no teams other than frontcourt-heavy Bucks have that kind of $ to spend, so we wait
— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) July 14, 2013
- Fun story on Steven Adams from Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman: “Food is one of his biggest fetishes. “He loves food,” said Liggins. “He goes crazy about food. Any food. He wants food.” Less than three minutes after Liggins revealed that information, Adams walked around the corner with a plate piled high with food. He was the only Thunder player to emerge from the locker room with a plate. “Food is amazing,” Adams said. “I love food. It’s good. It’s from my family, I guess. My family is quite big and we all eat a ton so I think that’s where it came from.” In the days leading up to the draft, Adams devoured a 48-oz steak. He had his first hot dog last Saturday in Orlando. He didn’t see the big deal. During the draft combine, former Louisville center Gorgui Dieng, now with Minnesota, suggested Adams get a shirt that reads “Eating Never Stops,” a play off of Nike’s slogan “Basketball Never Stops.” “I’m just a New Zealand guy,” Adams said.”
As u might imagine, Brandon Jennings isn’t a happy camper. A sign-and-trade appears inevitable.
— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) July 14, 2013
Dan Malone just finished his third year as a journalism student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He blogs, edits and learns things on the fly for Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on Twitter.
SH Blog: Clippers Continue To Make Noise; Wolves Land Kevin Martin; Lakers/Mavs Pitch Howard; Rondo/Granger Available
NBA free agency is officially in full swing. The biggest domino to fall in the first two days was also the leagues worst-kept secret, Chris Paul — No. 2 overall in Mighty Moke’s Free Agent Power Rankings – who re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers aren’t done, though, and they made more noise today with a trade that has helped reshape their roster in a much needed way: shooting.