Some players continue to await a contract offer. Others are under contract with one team but would rather play elsewhere. Every team sees Carmelo Anthony on the shelf and keeps shopping.
Team USA is facing its biggest roster-building challenge in decades. The Lakers are holding open tryouts. And, by the way, training camps open in a little more than a month.
As we sprint into the second half of perhaps the most fascinating summer in NBA history, it’s a good time to take note of what has transpired. News, notes and quotes from around the NBA:
News the Warriors didn’t need
The Mavericks re-signed point guard J.J. Barea to a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. Barea has a reputation as a good locker room guy, and he often finds ways to hurt the Warriors with his shooting. The pesky 5-9 veteran is a big reason why Dallas, one of the league’s weakest teams in recent years, has somehow beaten the vastly superior Warriors three times over the past four seasons.
Putting his teacher's hat on
“I’m looking forward to it. We have a lot of young guys coming in, more than we’ve had since I’ve been here. I’m looking forward to having the chance to work with them on a regular basis. I hope I can make an impact.” – Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams, who next season will operate with a reduced travel schedule while focusing primarily on player development.
The league needs more of this man
Marreese Speights. He reportedly is one of three big men being considered by the Lakers, who are reeling from the loss of DeMarcus Cousins. The other two, Joakim Noah and Dwight Howard, are bigger names, but neither has ever lit up an arena as Speights has. With his deep shooting, his inviting smile and his front-porch philosophy, he can get buckets while charming anyone crossing his path. Ask the Warriors. We’re shamelessly rooting for Mo.
We also admit, this would be, um, interesting
Howard returning to the Lakers. It would be a sequel to one of the most explosive soap operas in the 21st century NBA. Kobe Bryant’s disgust with Howard when they were teammates was epic and still echoes throughout Staples Center. Should there be a reunion, Howard will be joining his seventh team in less than 50 months, counting the Lakers twice. We wonder, though, if any ex-Laker who was a target of Kobe’s scorn has any real chance of making it in LA.
Big man faces 100,000-foot mountain
Cousins’ road back will be unlike that of any other player in NBA history, according to Jeff Stotts, a certified trainer that tracks and analyzes injuries across various sports through his cleverly named website “In Street Clothes.” Stotts tells The Ringer he could not find even one example of a player sustaining both a ruptured Achilles’ tendon and a torn ACL. Which makes Boogie the inaugural test as the worst-case scenario for NBA player’s lower body. We hope he recovers. He’ll deserve the standing ovation he gets upon his return – whether it’s with the Lakers or another team.
Speaking of ex-Lakers and Kobe’s scorn
Whatever happened to Smush Parker? Well, Smush, 38, was most recently affiliated with the LA Superstars of the Primetime Basketball League, a well-intentioned creation of former NBA player and coach Byron Scott.
Still the best . . . we think
With De’Aaron Fox withdrawing from the training roster, Team USA took 13 players to Australia, where the final three exhibitions will be played over the next seven days. Someone still must be cut before the team heads to China next week, the FIBA World Cup opener is scheduled for Sept. 1. Among the candidates to be sent home are Harrison Barnes, Mason Plumlee and maybe even terrific shooter Joe Harris. Can’t imagine coach Gregg Popovich cutting his only Spur, Derrick White, who can fill in at point guard.
Warriors East in the making?
Preparing for his third season as Hawks GM, Travis Schlenk received a contract extension while also adding a title this week: President of basketball operations. He went to Atlanta to rebuild, and there are indications he’s getting it done. Around a nucleus of point guard Trae Young, center-forward John Collins and sharpshooting guard Kevin Huerter, Schlenk added a strong draft that included small forwards De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. In a poll of rookies entering the NBA, Reddish was voted the player from this class likely to have the best career.
He’ll always have ‘Linsanity’
Jeremy Lin turns 31 on Friday and feels he may have cycled out of the NBA. He’s probably right. He began last season with Hawks before being waived in February. Signed by Toronto two days later, he played decent minutes – until the roster gained full health. After spending the playoffs on the distant end of the Raptors’ bench, J-Lin questions whether there is a place for him in the NBA. He reportedly is considering an offer from the Beijing Ducks worth a little more than $3 million.
“They basically are Bird, Parish and McHale and they deserve to retire after a very, very long tenure with the Warriors. They deserve to retire in that uniform and not play for any other franchise. That’s what they have earned. And that’s the way they view the Bay Area and the Warriors and how much they love playing there. I can’t see Steph and Draymond playing for anybody else.” – Lakers analyst Mychal Thompson, on his son, Klay, along with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green during the Warriors Insider Podcast this week.
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Send good thoughts overseas
Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt announced this week that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Blatt, 60, has no plans to retire. He currently is coaching Olympiacos of the Greek Basket League. Guard Will Cherry, a former start at McClymonds High in Oakland, is on the roster.