At best, the Knicks will have their mid-level exception to offer soon-to-be free agent Steve Nash (6'3''-PG-74, college: Santa Clara). Depending on how the June 13th hearing on the Bird rights of waived players goes, general manager Glen Grunwald may be forced to give the MLE to Jeremy Lin, and that would practically eliminate New York as a destination for the Phoenix Suns' veteran.
But even if the players' union does win its appeal and it's determined that Lin and Steve Novak do have early-Bird rights (which would allow the Knicks to exceed the salary cap to sign the pair without using any exceptions), getting Nash won't be easy.
For more on that and other issues, here's NJ.com's aggregation of Knicks news from around the web:
The Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley spoke with Suns coach Alvin Gentry, who is encouraged about the team's chances of re-signing Nash: ''I feel good about it,' coach Alvin Gentry said about retaining Nash. 'We just need a player we can throw the ball to at the end of the game, who can get to the foul line, get us a basket or make the right play... I think it's a little unfair for me to ask Steve Nash to do that night in and night out, not just for 66 games, but for 82 games next year. If we're fortunate enough to have Steve back, and we're going to do everything we possibly can to do that, I just think he needs some help.''
HOOPSWORLD's Tommy Beer gave an interesting forecast to the Knicks offseason, which includes a search for depth at point guard and the possible addition of Lamar Odom: 'If the Knicks only have the bi-annual exception and veterans minimums, some affordable, potential PG targets might include: Keyon Dooling, Jonny Flynn, Jannero Pargo, Delonte West, Ishmael Smith, and John Lucas... And depending upon whether or not Grunwald brings back J.R. Smith, Novak, Fields, and/or Jeffries, the list of Knicks needs could grow exponentially.'
J.R. Smith on a late-night bike ride with Knicks fans? Trey Kerby of 'The Basketball Jones' blog has the pictures and more: 'J.R. Smith is often the most frustrating player in the league to watch, but just as often, he is the most entertaining player to follow on the social media website twitter.com. To wit: 'How many people want to ride bikes with me at 2am instagraming pix?... Ill be on 66th an amsterdam @2:30 wit my bike! #getdownorlaydown''
KnickerBlogger.net posted their 2012 report card on Landry Fields, and the reviews were definitely mixed: 'After a rookie campaign that featured back-to-back Eastern Conference rookie of the month awards, 4th place in rookie of the year voting, and a spot on the NBA rookie first team, it looked like Fields had found his tempo. But in his second year, Fields failed to put together a prolonged stretch of good play. With the exception of slight improvements in AST% (9.0 to 14.5) and steal percentage (1.6 to 2.1), Fields stats are down across the board. Ive read a number of theories on why Fields struggled in 2011-2012. Some blame the sophomore jinx; others say it is Carmelo Anthonys style of play. A few blame it on Fields own lack of talent, or that he is playing out of position, or that he is regressing to the mean.'
It might be old news for some, but Patrick Ewing will not be getting the Charlotte Bobcats coaching gig. Here's one report from the New York Post: 'Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins said the team will hire a new head coach within the next couple of weeks, but it wont be Patrick Ewing... Higgins said owner Michael Jordan informed Ewing the team plans to hire someone other than the former Knicks great to replace Paul Silas... Higgins said Patrick has a lot of great qualities as a coach and he will one day be a head coach.'
Lowry, DeRozan lead Raptors to 105-99 win over Cavaliers - May 24, 2016
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Kyle Lowry (6'0''-PG-86, college: Villanova) scored 35 points, including a driving layup in the final minute, and Demar DeRozan (6'7''-F/G-89, college: USC) had 32 as the Toronto Raptors evened the Eastern Conference Finals by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-99 in Game 4 on Monday night. DeMarre Carroll (6'8''-F-86, college: Missouri, agency: Priority Sports) scored 11 points and Bismack Biyombo had 14 rebounds as Toronto improved to 8-2 at home this postseason. Game 5 is Wednesday ni... [read more]
Kyle Lowry (6'0''-PG-86, college: Villanova) scored 35 points, including a driving layup in the final minute, and Demar DeRozan (6'7''-F/G-89, college: USC) had 32 as the Toronto Raptors evened the Eastern Conference Finals by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-99 in Game 4 on Monday night. DeMarre Carroll (6'8''-F-86, college: Missouri, agency: Priority Sports) scored 11 points and Bismack Biyombo had 14 rebounds as Toronto improved to 8-2 at home this postseason. Game 5 is Wednesday night in Cleveland. Cleveland lost consecutive playoff games to an Eastern Conference opponent for the first time since dropping the final three games of the conference semifinals to Boston in 2010. LeBron James (6'8''-SF-84) scored 29 points and Kyrie Irving (6'3''-G-92, college: Duke) had 26 for the Cavaliers. Channing Frye (6'11''-PF-83, college: Arizona) scored nine of his 12 points in the fourth quarter. The Raptors led by nine points to begin the fourth but Frye made consecutive 3-pointers as Cleveland opened the final quarter with an 8-0 run, cutting it to 78-77. The Cavaliers made their first 11 shots of the fourth quarter. Frye's errant 3-point attempt at 4:12 was their first miss. DeRozan made two free throws at the other end and, after another miss by Frye, Carroll made one of two to put Toronto up 99-96 with 3:23 to go. A long 3 by Irving made it 101-99 with 2:00 left, but DeRozan answered with a driving bank shot at 1:33. Toronto got the ball back after Biyombo blocked JR Smith's 3, and Biyombo kept the offensive possession alive by rebounding Lowry's missed shot. After a timeout, Lowry let the shot clock wind down before driving for the decisive layup, making it 105-99 with 22 seconds to go. Toronto jumped out to a 13-5 lead as Cleveland missed eight of its first 10 shots. Following a timeout, the Cavs made five of their next six to cut the deficit but the Raptors led 27-24 after one quarter. Lowry scored 15 points in the second, making three of Toronto's four 3-pointers, as the Raptors opened a 57-41 halftime lead despite not shooting a single free throw in the first two quarters. It marked the first time a team led by 15 or more at halftime in a conference finals game without shooting a free throw since Game 2 of the 2001 East Finals between Milwaukee and Philadelphia. The Bucks made two of six from the line, the fewest ever made in an NBA playoff game at the time. DeRozan shot Toronto's first free throws at 6:13 of the third after being tackled by Smith on a drive. The foul drought came after Raptors coach Dwane Casey was fined $25,000 for criticizing the officials following Toronto's Game 3 win. After shooting 3 for 22 from 3-point range in the first half, the Cavaliers made their first three long range shots in the third quarter. Cleveland connected on six of eight 3s in the third but DeRozan and Lowry combined for 16 points as Toronto took a 78-69 lead into the fourth. Courtesy of: philstar.com
Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden this afternoon announced changes in the team's front office and coaching structure: 'Effective immediately, the following individuals will be relieved of their respective duties: previous General Manager Milt Newton , Vice President of Basketball Operations Rob Babcock , Vice President of Sports Performance Arnie Kander, Assistant Coach Sidney Lowe , Director of Sports P... [read more]
Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden this afternoon announced changes in the team's front office and coaching structure: 'Effective immediately, the following individuals will be relieved of their respective duties: previous General Manager Milt Newton , Vice President of Basketball Operations Rob Babcock , Vice President of Sports Performance Arnie Kander, Assistant Coach Sidney Lowe , Director of Sports Performance Koichi Sato, Manager of Team Travel/Facilities Coordinator Bill Hohenecker, Head of Video Department and Manager of Basketball Technology Brice Long and Scouts Milton Barnes and Jason Hervey.' 'We would like to thank all of these individuals for their contributions to our organization and wish them well in their future endeavors.' Courtesy of: insidehoops.com
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder race past Warriors at full wallop in 133-105 Game 3 blowout - May 23, 2016
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What Kevin Durant (6'9''-SF-88, college: Texas) might do, it seems, is more heavily analyzed than what he actually does. His free-agency fortunes are dissected almost daily, even though nothing will happen involving the Oklahoma City Thunder star until this summer. Will he stay in a small market where the honeymoon appears permanent? Will he go home again, picking the Washington Wizards in a move that would reunite him with Scott Brooks, his onetime coach? Or will he take a chance on a wi... [read more]
What Kevin Durant (6'9''-SF-88, college: Texas) might do, it seems, is more heavily analyzed than what he actually does. His free-agency fortunes are dissected almost daily, even though nothing will happen involving the Oklahoma City Thunder star until this summer. Will he stay in a small market where the honeymoon appears permanent? Will he go home again, picking the Washington Wizards in a move that would reunite him with Scott Brooks, his onetime coach? Or will he take a chance on a wild card like the Lakers, becoming the centerpiece of a suddenly faceless franchise? Staying put feels a lot more likely on occasions like Sunday evening inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, where Durant showed why he might not have to leave the city limits to win a first NBA championship. Durant scored 33 points in three breathless quarters to help Oklahoma City wallop the Golden State Warriors, 133-105, in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. It was a strong counterpunch to the Warriors' 27-point victory in Game 2 and gave the Thunder a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Of course, the Warriors twice rallied from identical series deficits last season on the way to the NBA championship. But they never had to overcome a tandem like Durant and Russell Westbrook (6'3''-PG-88, college: UCLA). Durant's latest scoring binge, on ultra-efficient 10-for-15 shooting, had his mother doing a courtside dance midway through a third quarter in which the Thunder scored 45 points, a franchise playoff record for points in one quarter. Durant made all 12 of his free throws, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots while committing only one turnover. Westbrook collected a series' worth of highlight plays, making a between-the-legs pass and ripping down a monstrous one-handed rebound on the way to 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting to go with 12 assists and eight rebounds. Durant is used to distractions regarding his future but had to deal with one involving the present midway through the second quarter when Golden State's Draymond Green (6'7''-F-90, college: Michigan St.) flailed out his leg and struck Thunder center Steven Adams (7'0''-C/F-93, college: Pittsburgh) in the groin for the second time in two games. Oklahoma City's only retaliation was to end the half on a 24-7 run, taking a 72-47 lead. "When you get to this point of the season, you've got to be a smart team," Durant said. "We can't let anything distract us. That's always been like the mantra." As Adams crouched in pain and scoreboard replays suggested Green's move might have been intentional, fans chanted "Kick him out!" They had to settle for a flagrant-1 foul on Green, who was booed vociferously every time he touched the ball thereafter and faces a possible suspension for Game 4 here Tuesday night. Green said he was just following through on a shot and didn't mean to strike Adams. "I don't know how anyone could possibly say I did that on purpose, regardless of the way it looked," said Green, adding that he did not think he would get suspended. Golden State Coach Steve Kerr said he was shocked referees even looked at the replay and expected the flagrant-1 foul to be rescinded. "This stuff happens all the time," he said. "Westbrook kicks out his feet on every three and there is contact." But Adams pointed out there was a trend involving shots by Green to his midsection. "It's happened before," Adams said. "Pretty accurate, that guy." The Thunder had vowed to get tougher and complied, outscoring the Warriors by 18 points in the paint, outrebounding them by 14 and blocking eight shots to Golden State's one. Oklahoma City also went small for stretches with Serge Ibaka at center and finished the game with 29 fastbreak points. Meanwhile, nothing was working for Golden State. Stephen Curry (6'3''-PG-88, college: Davidson) scored 24 points on seven-for-17 shooting but Klay Thompson (6'7''-G-90, college: Washington St.) (18 points) was the only other Warrior to score in double figures. Curry made three three-pointers, as many as the Thunder's much-maligned Andre Roberson. Roberson's third three-pointer gave the Thunder 100 points. They led by 34 and there was 3:52 left. In the third quarter. Kerr tried to lighten the mood after his team's worst playoff loss since a 40-point drubbing by the Clippers in 2014 by entering the media room and announcing, unprompted, "A break here or there and I thought we had them." No one laughed. The Thunder still have Durant. They hope what happens over the next month leads him to take up permanent residence. Courtesy of: latimes.com
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