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.'
Leonard scores 25 as Spurs dismantle ailing Cavs, 103-74 - 15 hours ago
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The Cavaliers acknowledged having heavy legs, but there is something far weightier on the minds of the defending NBA champions. Cleveland is in the midst of one of its worst stretches of the season and there is little time to fix it. Kawhi Leonard (6'7''-F-91, college: San Diego St.) scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cavs 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for Cleveland. "The way we've been struggling, (the Spurs are) the l... [read more]
The Cavaliers acknowledged having heavy legs, but there is something far weightier on the minds of the defending NBA champions. Cleveland is in the midst of one of its worst stretches of the season and there is little time to fix it. Kawhi Leonard (6'7''-F-91, college: San Diego St.) scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cavs 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for Cleveland. "The way we've been struggling, (the Spurs are) the last team that you want to play," said LeBron James (6'8''-SF-84), who was fine after taking elbow to the neck. "A well-oiled machine like this. They exploit everything that you're not doing well at that point in time of the season and right now we're not playing good basketball." James, who finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes, said he will play Thursday at Chicago. Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Cavaliers have nine games remaining, all against teams in the East, including a showdown at Boston on April 5. James said the standings "always matter," but playing more consistently is far more important and he refused to blame injuries or an arduous schedule for the team's troubles. "It matters more that we're playing better basketball than where we're at," he said. "If that results in us having the No. 1 seed, the No. 2 seed, 3 or whatever the hell it is, we need to play better basketball. That's what it comes down to." What Cleveland is seeking, the Spurs have already found. San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday. The Spurs have won five straight and eight of 10 after sweeping their season series against the Cavaliers. "It was a big game, but in the end, it's just one game, and one win," San Antonio guard Tony Parker (6'2''-PG-82) said. "We're trying to be consistent. We're trying to play the same way every game. It was definitely surprising. Coming off a loss, I thought they would play with a lot more energy, but it can happen. It's a long season. It's just one game and I'm sure they're going to bounce back and use this game as motivation." LaMarcus Aldridge (6'11''-F/C-85, college: Texas) and Pau Gasol (7'0''-F/C-80) added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight. San Antonio led by as many as 33 to the delight of the sold-out crowd. "We did a good job coming out early and then keeping our foot on the pedal," Leonard said. The Spurs' bench outscored the Cavaliers' 49-24. Cleveland, which was already without Iman Shumpert, received more bad news Monday morning when it was announced that Kyle Korver will miss at least two more games with a sore left foot. "You lose Korver and Shumpert off your bench and things tend to change," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "With those two guys out, we tried some different things and it didn't work. It was not on the bench. It was on me." Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving (6'3''-G-92, college: Duke) and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks. Lue said he has considered resting his stars over the team's final nine games, which James is not in favor of. "Coach is going to have his logic of things, but we need to play," James said. James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt. He remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. James left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout, but said afterward he is fine. Courtesy of: msn.com
Jazz beat Pelicans 108-100 behind Gobert, hot shooting - 15 hours ago
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Rudy Gobert (7'1''-C-92) had 20 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Utah Jazz over the New Orleans Pelicans 108-100 on Monday night. Rodney Hood (6'8''-F-92, college: Duke) scored 20 points, Joe Ingles (6'8''-SF-87) added 19 and George Hill chipped in with 17 as that Jazz trio combined to make a dozen 3-pointers. Utah (45-29) swept the season series 3-0 after dominating from the perimeter for four quarters. Anthony Davis (6'10''-C-93, college: Kentucky) had 36 points and 17 re... [read more]
Rudy Gobert (7'1''-C-92) had 20 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Utah Jazz over the New Orleans Pelicans 108-100 on Monday night. Rodney Hood (6'8''-F-92, college: Duke) scored 20 points, Joe Ingles (6'8''-SF-87) added 19 and George Hill chipped in with 17 as that Jazz trio combined to make a dozen 3-pointers. Utah (45-29) swept the season series 3-0 after dominating from the perimeter for four quarters. Anthony Davis (6'10''-C-93, college: Kentucky) had 36 points and 17 rebounds for New Orleans. Jrue Holiday (6'4''-PG-90, college: UCLA) scored 19, but the Pelicans (31-43) lost for only the third time in nine games. New Orleans got no closer than six in the fourth quarter. The Pelicans cut the deficit to 102-96 on a 3-pointer by Davis, but Utah answered with a jumper from Joe Johnson and a 3 from Hood to seal the win in the final minute. Courtesy of: foxsports.com
Westbrook, Thunder top Mavs 92-91 with 14-0 finishing run - 16 hours ago
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Russell Westbrook (6'3''-PG-88, college: UCLA) rescued Oklahoma City with a stunning rally and guaranteed the first losing record for Dallas in 17 full seasons under owner Mark Cuban. Westbrook hit a pull-up jumper with seven seconds left and the Thunder erased a 13-point deficit in the final four minutes for a 92-91 victory over the Mavericks on Monday night. The six-time All-Star and current NBA scoring leader, whom Cuban steadfastly claims isn't a superstar, had his third straight trip... [read more]
Russell Westbrook (6'3''-PG-88, college: UCLA) rescued Oklahoma City with a stunning rally and guaranteed the first losing record for Dallas in 17 full seasons under owner Mark Cuban. Westbrook hit a pull-up jumper with seven seconds left and the Thunder erased a 13-point deficit in the final four minutes for a 92-91 victory over the Mavericks on Monday night. The six-time All-Star and current NBA scoring leader, whom Cuban steadfastly claims isn't a superstar, had his third straight triple-double with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Westbrook scored 12 in a 14-0 run by Oklahoma City to finish it, but said he wasn't trying to convince Cuban, who was in the first row of seats just a few feet from the winning shot. ''Nah, man,'' said Westbrook, who has 37 triple-doubles and needs four in the final nine games to tie Oscar Robertson's NBA record set during the 1961-62 season. ''I play every night the same way. Whatever he says doesn't even matter to me. He's going to do his job, and I'm going to do mine.'' The Thunder gained possession on a replay reversal with 13 seconds to go and Westbrook hit the decisive shot from just beyond the free throw line over Wesley Matthews (6'5''-G-86, college: Marquette). Dallas was out of timeouts, and Harrison Barnes (6'8''-F-92, college: N.Carolina) missed a long 3-pointer before the buzzer. The Mavericks (31-42) last had a losing season in 1999-2000, Dirk Nowitzki (7'0''-F-78)'s second year. Cuban bought the team in January that season, when Dallas finished 40-42. ''It just happened so fast,'' said Nerlens Noel, who scored 15 points along with Matthews to lead Dallas. ''They were just playing more aggressive than we were late in the game.'' The Thunder (42-31) won for the seventh time in nine games since a four-game losing streak that matched a season high. They are a game behind the fifth-place Clippers in the Western Conference and 2 1/2 in front of Memphis for the No. 6 seed. Mavericks rookie Yogi Ferrell scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, capped by a 3-pointer for a 91-78 lead with 3:31 remaining. Dallas didn't score again. Westbrook started the stunning run with a breakaway dunk, followed by a 3. After Steven Adams (7'0''-C/F-93, college: Pittsburgh) tipped in Westbrook's missed 3, the star guard hit a floater on a three-point play to get the Thunder to 91-88. The Mavericks had possession with the shot clock off after Westbrook missed a jumper, but Dallas got stuck in the backcourt and called its final timeout. With just three seconds to get the ball past midcourt, an inbounds pass for J.J. Barea was tipped by Westbrook, who immediately signaled Oklahoma City ball even though the initial call went Dallas' way. There were plenty of celebrating Westbrook fans when he pulled up on a backpedaling Matthews. ''That's about as good a shot as you're going to get,'' Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said. ''You're trying to take away something at the rim.'' Courtesy of: yahoo.com
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