Lakers, Timberwolves, Rockets
lAKERS : Johnny Flynn*, Derrick Williams*, Martel Webster ^,
Timberwolves: Kenyon Martin*, Jordan Hill $,
Rockets: Paul Gasol*, Matt Barnes $
The Los Angeles Lakers have about $100 million in committed salaries going into the 2012/13 NBA Season. With luxury taxes, the team is looking at a total payroll of about $130 million.
Other free agents in 2014 might include Dwyane Wade (ETO), Chris Bosh (ETO), Carmelo Anthony (ETO), Rudy Gay (PO), Amar’e Stoudemire (ETO), Paul Pierce, Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala, Monta Ellis, Dirk Nowitzki, Luol Deng, Zach Randolph (PO), O.J. Mayo, John Wall (R), DeMarcus Cousins (R), Marcin Gortat, Andrew Bogut and number of other impact players.
It’s not clear what path the Lakers will take but they stand to have significant spending power in 2014, or 2015 if they delay, to find a headliner to partner with Howard.
Faced with an overloaded roster, the Houston Rockets recently waived forward/center Sean Williams despite trading for him in late July.
Now here’s the really scary thought for other NBA teams: the HEAT, who ranked sixth in offensive efficiency last season, may have found a way to shake more change out of the fast break piggy bank.
And while improving the HEAT kind of sounds like building a juggernaut, it’s important to remember that the rest of the NBA didn’t stay stagnant in the offseason. The Los Angeles Lakers have Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, the Brooklyn Nets have Joe Johnson, and young teams like the Oklahoma City have another year of experience under their belts.
Assuming 70 games played in 2013; if Nowitzki averaged 20 points per night the longtime Maverick forward could land as high fourteenth on the all-time list passing Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing, Jerry West, Reggie Miller and Kevin Garnett by season’s end.
It doesn’t help that McGrady has failed to become the strong veteran voice in the locker room even as his body has failed him. He led a player revolt against Detroit Pistons head coach John Kuester in 2010-11 and then was far from a positive influence in Atlanta last season.
Lillard added: ''It doesn't take long, just because I'm a willing passer, and so is he. As long as we're willing to work off each other and keep it simple - and we're not trying to force it or make it go one way or the other - I feed it to him, he's the All-Star. It's as simple as that.''
Of course, playing both forward spots (and even a little shooting guard) isn’t possible without being in basketball shape. Green isn’t recovering from an injury — just a health scare — but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to log 30 minutes a night.
Most of those released were not familiar names, but Darius Johnson-Odom was cut from the Los Angeles Lakers, and Adam Morrison and Koby Carl were cut from the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I want to thank the Blazers’ organization for giving me a chance,” Morrison told CSNNW.com. “I’m sorry things didn’t work out, but I wish them nothing but success. Right now, I’m just going to talk to my agent and see where to go from here.”
“These guys that are rookies, that are young like Tristan (Thompson) and Dion, you’ve got to give them time,” Scott said. “I heard after the scrimmage game, the Wine and Gold game, that everyone was so excited about how good Dion was. Then after the first preseason game, they weren’t so sure. He’s going to have his ups and downs. He’s a rookie, a 20-year-old rookie. He’s going to have his ups and downs. That’s the NBA. There have been very few rookies who have come into this league and just set it on fire from the start to the finish. People just need to relax and give the man some time. Just be patient, he’s going to be alright.”
There will certainly be some 2-for-9 nights for Waiters this season, but the Cavaliers are confident that as the season moves along there will be many more of those 7-for-12 nights. If that’s the case, Waiters may look very much like a fourth overall draft pick after all.
The (Keith) Smart Approach To Improving Sacramento
Smart’s biggest challenge when he took over the Kings last year was to gain the trust of DeMarcus Cousins and help him grow into a player and a person who is a franchise cornerstone. That process got off to a great start last season, and Cousins seems to have taken the next step heading into the new season.ghfdg546435
The Kings aren’t getting much love as a playoff team this season, but if things come together the right way they could very well be knocking on the door come April.
Tracy McGrady Heads To China
According to reports out of China, it’s official. Tracy McGrady, having exhausted the possibility of returning to the NBA this season, will take his services to the Qingdao Double Star Eagles.
If being without him for the first five-to-six weeks of the regular season is the price they have to pay to have him to be completely healthy the rest of the year, it would be well worth it. If Nowitzki were to get surgery on Oct. 23, a week from today, a maximum recovery time of six weeks would have him back sometime in early December. That would keep him out roughly 20 games.5rt234534