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Thunder May Anticipate 6th Man Role For Reggie Jackson
After sporadic playing time as a rookie last season, Reggie Jackson emerged as a critical guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder and averaged 13.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists in the playoffs.
With Russell Westbrook set to return next season, the Thunder might be anticipating a sixth man role for Jackson.
“If that's the number that's called,” Jackson said, “I'm doing my best to just be ready for whatever situation I'm thrown into next year.”
“I'm excited about his future, about what he was able to do during the minutes that he had," Brooks added.
The Charlotte Bobcats have started the process to rename the team back to "Hornets," according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
There is no timetable for the switch and Adam Silver has said such a change would take at least 18 months to implement.
Charlotte's NBA team was known as the Hornets from its 1988 inception through 2002 when then owner George Shinn moved the team -- and mascot -- to New Orleans.
The New Orleans franchise changed its name to Pelicans after this season, which opened the door for Charlotte to reclaim its old name.
Afflalo Wants To Play To His Strengths Next Season
Arron Afflalo is looking forward to playing to his strengths next season.
"I'm kind of getting to the age now where I'm kind of settling into being great at something," Afflalo said. "Whether it's being a high-level defensive player, a high-level shooter, an efficient scorer, doing the things where I'm really playing to my strengths. That's something I'm looking forward to."
With Afflalo often acting as the team’s go-to scorer, the Magic lost 62 games this season."It is what it is," Afflalo said. "We had a lot of firsts in terms of role definition, in terms of learning, in terms of the coaching staff. And when you're fully committed to doing better and trying to win it all at some point in time, you have to go through experiences like this. All we can do is try to learn from what happened this year and move forward into next year."
Michael Reinsdorf Believes Mirotic Would Be Lottery Pick In This Year's Draft
Michael Reinsdorf believes that Nikola Mirotic would be a lottery in this year’s NBA draft.
Mirotic was acquired by the Bulls after he was drafted 23rd overall in 2011.
Reinsdorf is proud of the Bulls’ recent draft record, pointing to the 2011 selection of Jimmy Butler.
“This is a guy who was the 30th pick in the draft that any other team could have had,” Reinsdorf said of Butler. “He played nearly every minute against Miami and LeBron James. If you saw how LeBron James embraced Jimmy Butler after that game, to me, it was the ultimate show of respect and that Jimmy has arrived as a ballplayer.”
Carlisle Has Studied Past Drafts, Places Value On Experienced Prospects
Rick Carlisle has studied past NBA drafts and is aware of the talent that figures to fall to the Mavericks on June 27.
“You know, if you look at the history of drafts, which I have in the last couple of weeks, and if you look at the last 10 drafts, there’s a history of being multiple guys 13 and below that turn out to be really good, solid, long-term NBA players,” Carlisle said, while standing on the sideline during day 2 of the NBA draft combine. “So, you know, there’s value in this draft. Our job is to find it.”
The Mavericks will pick in the lottery for the first time since 2004, when they selected Devin Harris with a pick acquired from the Washington Wizards.
Carlisle is confident the Mavericks will add a player capable of stepping in right away. “Well, you want to get a guy with as much experience as possible,” Carlisle confessed. “One of the reasons that (Jae) Crowder was in our rotation most of the year last year and one of the reasons that Bernard James did a good job for us when he played was because those guys had experience and they were older players. I think there’s been a move towards putting a value on maturity and for good reason.”
Harrison Barnes Enjoyed Playing Small Ball Power Forward
Due to the injury to David Lee, the Golden State Warriors were forced to be inventive and play Harrison Barnes minutes at power forward.
Many in the media had proposed that Barnes play as the Warriors' small ball power forward previously in the season in order to space the floor due to their lack of playmakers able to get to the basket off the dribble.
"It was fun to kind of play that style," said Barnes. "We’d never really done that before this season. Really, I’d never really played that at Carolina. I’ve always been so accustomed to having two bigs, especially fixtures on the block."So just to be able to play that spread out basketball, kind of drive and kick… it was fun to have four people who could handle the ball, just get out on the break, we all had different mis-matches. It was exciting."
MLSE Hires Firm To Search For New Raptors' GM, No Decision Yet On Colangelo
MLSE, owner of the Toronto Raptors, have hired a firm to search for a possible replacement for Bryan Colangelo.
The Raptors have until Monday to make a decision on whether to pick up their option on Colangelo's contract for the 13-14 season.
Kevin Pritchard and Troy Weaver are two names being mentioned as candidates to replace Colangelo, should the Raptors make a move.
Tim Leiweke became CEO of MLSE last month and will have final say on the Raptors' general manager position.
Larry Drew Will Interview For Bucks' Head Coaching Job Monday
Larry Drew will interview for the Milwaukee Bucks' head coaching vacancy on Monday and is receiving interest from a second team.
The Bucks called Danny Ferry about speaking with Drew, who is still under contract with the Atlanta Hawks until June 30, and they were granted permission.
“I’ve moved on from the situation,” Drew said. “We had a very professional talk just trying to get things in order since I’m still under contract.”
While Drew is prepared to part ways with the Hawks, the door is not completely closed on him returning as coach.
“There is not a sadness,” Drew said. “This is a business. We left open that this could evolve back. If it doesn’t, I have to move on. That’s how this business works. I knew that. Nine years is a good run. There is a business side to this profession."
Otto Porter patterns his game after Tayshaun Prince.
Porter, a small forward out of Georgetown, measured at 6-8.5 in shoes with a 7-1.5 wingspan at the NBA draft combine.
“Yeah, Tayshaun Prince,” Porter said when asked who his game is modeled after. “Long, lanky and can do a lot of things on the floor. Can defend, rebound, kind of a glue guy.”
Porter averaged 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds, while shooting 47.9 percent from the floor, in 35.4 minutes per game last season for the Hoyas.
Kings Not Expected To Keep Petrie, Could Consider Mullin
With Vivek Ranadive agreeing to purchase the Sacramento Kings, Geoff Petrie is not expected to be retained as chief decision-maker on basketball personnel moves.
One candidate for the position could be Chris Mullin, who was in the Golden State Warriors' front office from 2004 until 2009.
Ranadive and Mullin have met several times, but have not discussed the possibility of working together.
"I definitely would (be interested in the job)," Mullin said. "But you know, it's something that's got to be the right fit. It's gotta be – they need my expertise…I'm not one of those people to go solicit it. But a guy like him, if he called me and he needed me, I'd love that."
Mike Malone is expected to be a leading candidate for the Sacramento Kings' head coaching position.
Keith Smart is not expected to be retained, according to a report.
Malone is familiar with prospective Kings' owner Vivek Ranadive due to their connection with the Golden State Warriors.
Hawks Interview Stan Van Gundy, Mike Budenholzer For Coaching Vacancy
The Atlanta Hawks have interviewed Stan Van Gundy and Mike Budenholzer for their vacant head coach position.
Nate McMillan previously interviewed for the position.
The Hawks are reportedly in the middle stages of the hiring process.
Hansen-Ballmer Decline Refund Of $30M Non-Refundable Deposit From NBA's Other Owners
The NBA owners offered to refund a $30 million non-refundable deposit made by the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer ownership group that was made when entering into a purchase agreement with the Sacramento Kings.
The Seattle-based group had agreed to buy the team from the Maloof family.
Hansen and Ballmer declined to accept the offer, which would have come from each of the NBA's 30 owners.
Deshaun Thomas Refused To Give Spurs His Cell Number At Draft Combine
Deshaun Thomas interviewed with the San Antonio Spurs at the NBA draft combine on Thursday.
Among the questions asked of Thomas was his cell phone number and email address.
Thomas declined to give the Spurs his phone number.
“I can’t go around giving it out to everyone,” Thomas said Thursday with a laugh. “Now if they want to draft me, I’d be happy to give it to them.”
Thomas is currently projected as a second-round pick.
Nerlens Noel Targeting Christmas Return From Torn ACL
Nerlens Noel will not be ready for the NBA season opener and is targeting Christmas as his debut date.
Noel said he is ''ahead of schedule” in his rehab from a torn ACL in his left knee.
''I've started to shoot some free throws the last week with a different type of brace on,'' said Noel, who has yet to start running again. ''I'm 100 percent confident of not just gaining what I had but definitely being stronger, coming back better. During this time that I won't be playing basketball I'll just be working on a lot of things that I needed to polish when I was playing.''
Noel called shooting among his needed areas of improvement.
''I think I'm at a good point, but obviously I can't do too much right now,'' Noel said. ''I'm just doing a lot of form shooting right now. I think when I come back I'll be able to knock down that 15-footer and be able to take my game to another level.''
George Hill was ruled out for Game 5 by the Indiana Pacers due to a concussion suffered in Game 4.
The Pacers had kept Hill's injury quiet.
Hill believes he suffered the injury when being hit in the head by Tyson Chandler.
D.J. Augustin will start and Frank Vogel said that Paul George could even see some time at the point.
Billy Hunter Files Suit Against NBPA, Fisher, Wior
Billy Hunter has filed a lawsuit against the National Basketball Players Association, Derek Fisher and Jamie Wior.
Hunter was voted out unanimously as executive director of the NBPA in February. Hunter had been executive director of the NBPA since 1996.
A report from an independent party showed Hunter used poor judgement on hiring practices, spent improperly on several forms of expenses and his contract was never properly approved. The report, however, showed no evidence of illegal use of union funds.
Fisher is president of the NBPA, while Wior serves as his business manager.
Sources: Schroeder, Antetokounmpo Given First Round Promises
Dennis Schroeder and Giannis Antetokounmpo have been given first round promises for the 2013 NBA Draft, according to sources.
Both Schroeder and Antetokounmpo could elect to withdraw from the draft as International prospects.
Schroeder is a 19-year-old, 6-1 point guard out of Germany, while Antetokounmpo is an 18-year-old, 6-9 small forward out of Greece.
Hinkie Looking Forward To Interviewing Top Draft Prospects
Sam Hinkie is gearing up to interview top prospects at the NBA draft combine in Chicago."It's rare that you get the opportunity to meet some of these players,” Hinkie said. “Some of these players won't come to a particular city to work out or won't come based on your draft position. When you go to Chicago, you get to interview the players and see them up close.
"Even if it's not a target that you can reach now, a player that you think will go too high for Philadelphia's current draft position, I very much want to meet him, I very much want to quiz him, I very much want to try and understand what makes him tick because he will be a trade target in the coming years, he will be a free-agent target in 4 years, he might be a maximum target to recruit on July 1 in 9 years, and this instance now is worth collecting and learning."
The Sixers currently have the 11th pick in the draft, which will be held on June 27.
Cavaliers Appear To Be Targeting Small Forward In Draft
The Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be looking to upgrade at the small forward position in the upcoming NBA draft. Otto Porter is considered the top-ranked small forward.“I’m pretty sure the Cavs are praying right now that Otto Porter is there on the board when they draft,” said ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford. “He is a perfect fit for them. If he’s off the board, I do think there is a question mark there. I think ‘3’ is the position they need the most.“While we thought three was going to be stronger, we thought Shabazz Muhammad would be a guy that would be a great fit there. I think his play at UCLA has raised major question marks whether that’s the case.”
The Cavaliers will have four of the top 33 picks in the June draft.