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Dumars, Pistons 'Comfortable' With No. 8 Draft Slot
Joe Dumars is “comfortable” with the Detroit Pistons staying in the middle of the draft lottery.
"I'm good with it," Dumars said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday night. "I just talked to Tom Gores about five minutes (ago) and I basically said the same thing ... there are no franchise changers, there's no franchise guy, really, that you're looking at in this particular draft.
"So to be at seven or eight, we're going to get a good player. We'll add another really nice piece to the core we that already have and we'll move forward. So like I said, I'm very, very comfortable with it and OK with it -- totally OK with it."
Dumars said the Pistons are most focused on perimeter players.
"You rate these wing guys and it gets to the point where the ones you rated in the top seven or eight (are off the board), so why not take the best big guy or the best player on the board at that point?" he said. "Our preference is to look at the perimeter with this particular pick. But by no means are we locked into that where that's all we're going to take, no matter what."
Krzyzewski Plans To Utilize Jabari Parker Like LeBron
Mike Krzyzewski gave Jabari Parker an idea of how he plans to utilize him when the two spoke during the star forward's recruitment.
"[We're going to] mirror some of the things we've done on the Olympic team," Krzyzewski promised.
Krzyzewski plans to apply what he learned from coaching LeBron James to how he can coach Parker.
Parker is listed as a small forward, but the Duke freshman-to-be is too versatile to be defined by one position.
Trey Burke Hearing Draft Position Likely Between Two And Six
Trey Burke is beginning to get a feel for where he might fall in the NBA draft.
"I'm hearing anywhere from two to six," Burke said Wednesday. "That's pretty much everything I'm hearing now. It's really a toss up and up in the air. So I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next month or so."
Burke wouldn't mind falling to the Pistons at No. 8.
"Absolutely, that would be great," he said. "To be able to play for the Pistons, right there in Michigan where I've already played for the Michigan Wolverines, that would be wonderful and I would be looking forward to it."
Tony Parker underwent a precautionary MRI on his bruised left calf Thursday, and the San Antonio Spurs' guard received a positive outcome.
Parker said Thursday that his calf contusion is dissipating well.
Parker is averaging 18 points in five games since the injury, alternating two strong shooting performances (9 for 16 and 9 for 14) around three poor ones (6 for 17, 3 for 16, 6 for 20).
The Spurs lead the Memphis Grizzlies, 2-0, in the Western Conference Finals.
Calipari: Cavaliers Should Draft Nerlens Noel With Top Pick
Kentucky coach John Calipari wants the Cleveland Cavaliers to draft Nerlens Noel with the first overall pick in this year's NBA draft.
"My hope is they take Nerlens because they do their research and say, 'We need that shot blocker behind what we have. ... We know he's going to gain 40 pounds. We know the trajectory,'" Calipari said. "They know where he was at the beginning of the year and they know how much he improved because they were here.
"They haven't made mistakes. If they pick him, in all likelihood, history tells you something: It's not a mistake, which means it's good for my kid."
The Cavaliers won the draft lottery on Tuesday.
Dwyane Wade acknowledged before Wednesday's Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers that his left knee injury is more painful than it was last season.
This season's injury is a bone bruise while last year's involved the cartilage, which required surgery in the offseason.
"It’s unfortunate I’ve had to deal with this thing for two months now," Wade said. "When I feel great, I’m going to attack. When I don’t, I know how to be a team player and give of myself for other guys.
"Even though my knee isn’t 100 percent, it ain’t gone.”
Stan Van Gundy: 'It Is Possible' I Don't Coach Ever Again
Stan Van Gundy knows his family has become comfortable living together in Orlando and has made it clear that he will not coach in the NBA next season.
Furthermore, Van Gundy is leaving open the possibility of never coaching in the league ever again.
"It is possible and that scares me," Van Gundy said. "Coaching is all I've ever done and all I know.
"Every year, you're out of it, it gets harder and harder to get back in."
For now, Van Gundy has decided not to pursue head coach openings and has turned down offers.
"We love where we're living and quite honestly it would be hard for us to leave Central Florida," Van Gundy said. "... As much as I would like to be back in coaching, we're all real happy here. I don't know what will happen in the future, but for right now we've decided not to pursue anything."
LeBron, Durant, Duncan, Kobe, Paul On All-NBA First Team
LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul have been named to the All-NBA First Team.
On the Second Team are Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, Marc Gasol, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook.
On the Third Team are David Lee, Paul George, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and James Harden.
The Dallas Mavericks are expected to pursue Jarrett Jack and Jerryd Bayless, according to a source.
The Mavericks will first pursue Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, but both are considered relative longshots.
Both Jack and Bayless have been key reserves during the playoffs for the Warriors and Grizzlies, respectively.
Frank Vogel decided to leave Roy Hibbert on the bench in two key defensive plays late in the Indiana Pacers' overtime loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Hibbert is one of the NBA's best rim protectors, but struggles to defend the perimeter. Vogel was concerned that guarding Chris Bosh on the perimeter would negate Hibbert's usefulness at the basket. Nevertheless, the Pacers would surely prefer to be beat on a jumper than a LeBron James' layup.
"I've grown as a player, this is my fifth year and maybe I need to start talking up more," Hibbert told Yahoo! Sports. "They pay me [max-contract money] for a reason.
"I didn't say anything, and I wish I did. From now on, I need to speak up."
Vogel admitted after the game that he will almost certainly not make the same mistake again in the series.
"I would say we'll probably have him in next time," Vogel said.
Landry Wants To Return To Warriors, Hasn't Decided Whether To Opt Out
Carl Landry wants to return to the Golden State Warriors, but doesn't know how he’s going to proceed regarding his player option worth $4 million for next season.
"The Warriors are home whether I opt in or out," Landry said. "Hopefully, I can spend the rest of my career here because this is a very special place. Everything here is what you want: the city, the fans, the front office, the coach, the teammates. You can’t ask for anything more."
Landry called it the hardest decision of his career.
"I mean, this is the best team I’ve ever played for on this level, especially as far as chemistry," Landry said. "And the scary thing is we’ve been together one year."
Levien: Grizzlies Using Analytics To Manage Salary Cap
The Memphis Grizzlies are using advanced analytics to manage the salary cap.
“People talk about analytics in evaluating players, but there’s a lot of analytics around the salary cap,” said Josh Levien, the first-year CEO of the Grizzlies. “How much should we spend for a player at a certain position and what role he’s going to play? So that’s a lot of what we’ve done and are working on, is salary-cap analytics, being thoughtful about how we structure our roster and how we can get the best bang for our buck.”The collective bargaining agreement imposes unprecedented penalties on teams exceeding the cap.
“With the rules set up the way they are, there’s minimal room for error,” Levien said. “You’ve got to be very thoughtful in your approach to how you build your team, how you build a roster, and you’ve got to keep the cap and the tax in mind.”
Carmelo Anthony has a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Anthony may need surgery to repair the injury, which he played 12 playoff games with.
The New York Knicks are hopeful that Anthony can avoid surgery with rest over the next three to four weeks.
Anthony originally injured his shoulder on April 14th and re-injured it in Game 5 of the first round against the Boston Celtics.
Anthony would likely need three to four months of recovery if he undergoes surgery.
The Phoenix Suns will pick fifth overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, their highest selection since 1987 when they selected Armen Gilliam at No. 2 after David Robinson went to the San Antonio Spurs.
The draft is considered very flat, which benefits the Suns at No. 5 more than certain seasons in the past.
“The guy who goes there might not be much different, or any different, than guys who go in the top three,” McDonough said.
The Suns will be the first team from the Western Conference selecting in this draft.
“I think generally we need to get more athletic,” Ryan McDonough said. “I think we need more shooting. My philosophy is always to draft the best available player. There are some good pieces in place here. But at the same time, we won 25 games here, so we need to get better across the board.”
Mitch Kupchak denied a report that indicated his exit interview conversation with Dwight Howard included the impending free agent venting about Mike D'Antoni.
Howard met with Kupchak privately after also meeting with both he and D'Antoni.
"To be honest with you, I wouldn’t let it go there anyway," said Kupchak about letting a player dictate the Lakers' coaching situation.
Kupchak has worked to gain the trust of Howard during the 12-13 season, which he has by all accounts.
"I'm not saying they don't have differences like with any coach or any player," said Kupchak. "I don't think it's anything that goes beyond."
Suns Receive Permission To Interview J.B. Bickerstaff, Clifford
The Phoenix Suns have received permission to interview J.B. Bickerstaff and Steve Clifford for their head coaching vacancy.
Bickerstaff is currently an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets, while Clifford is under contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Suns fired Alvin Gentry after a 13-28 finish and Lindsey Hunter finished the season on an interim basis.
D.J. Stephens has recorded a 46-inch vertical leap during a workout on Wednesday hosted by the Brooklyn Nets, according to a Tweet from ESPN's Chad Ford.
Stephens averaged 7.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game in his senior season at Memphis, his first in which he received significant minutes. Stephens was also named Conference-USA Defensive Player of the Year.
Stephens has developed a reputation as a dunk artist due to his immense leaping ability.
Victor Oladipo appears to be the most popular player in the 2013 NBA Draft for general managers, even if he isn't on top of draft boards.
"Oladipo is the guy that GMs love in this draft," wrote Chad Ford. "May be the only one. I've talked to 14 or 15 who tell me he's their favorite player. Almost zero downside and still significant upside. Not sure he's a fit in Cleveland or Washington -- but Orlando and Phoenix both look like strong fits. (Trey) Burke may be a bigger need (for Orlando), but Oladipo might be the better player long-term."
Oladipo was a first team All-American in his junior season at Indiana.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired Phil Handy as an assistant coach.
Handy was previously a player development coach with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Cavaliers hired Mike Brown as head coach this offseason.
Jackson Laughed When Informed Of Lakers' Decision To Hire D'Antoni
When Phil Jackson received a phone call from Mitch Kupchak late on Sunday, Nov. 11 that the Los Angeles Lakers had decided to hire Mike D'Antoni to replace Mike Brown as head coach, he had an amused reaction.
"I laughed," Jackson said on Wednesday. "It was humorous to me when Mitch said that we think that Mike is a better coach for this group of guys."
Jackson had been prepared to tell Kupchak that he was interested in coaching the Lakers again.
Jackson believes the move to hire D'Antoni was made to cater to Steve Nash.
"I think it didn't happen because there was some concern how are we going to move in the right direction for this ballclub," Jackson said. "When Mitch gave me the call close to midnight on Sunday night right before I was going to give them an answer Monday morning and said, 'We've made a choice. We're going to hire Mike D'Antoni. We think he's the best coach for this group of guys.' My answer was, 'For Steve Nash, yes, I agree but for Dwight Howard, I'm not so sure.' "In the process of thinking about how they could best use the team I think they thought first and foremost about Steve Nash and how Steve Nash was going to fit inside of an offensive system that I coach. ... I think that was a concern for them."
Jackson felt that his system would have allowed Pau Gasol and Howard to have a similar type of success as Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Jackson claims to not be interested in coaching, but does seek a front office position in the NBA.
"I don't see myself coaching again, I really don't," Jackson said. "When I discussed this with Jeanie Buss, she said make sure you tell them that Jeanie still thinks you can coach even though you might say you're not going to coach again. Jeanie still thinks I can coach but I'm not going to go there."