- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports3 hrs ago
Everyone understands the reasons the Philadelphia 76ers want the NBA to wait on implementing a plan to reform the draft lottery: They need one more season to complete a most brazen two-year tanking cycle. The Sixers didn't invent the idea of gutting a roster to short-circuit a path to the No. 1 overall pick, only perfected the pursuit.
The strategy of Philadelphia general manager Sam Hinkie – who came with his ownership's full endorsement and support – has inspired an immense level of resentment and disdain within the NBA. There's a movement to punish the Sixers and discourage the practice. So on Wednesday, the league's owners will vote to change the way bad franchises bottom out for the chance to select transcendent talents.
Philadelphia's campaigning to ease the implementation of the rule over the next several years has struggled to gain traction, but there's been an improbable voice that has risen in recent weeks, advocating a stay of execution for the current system: Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are shopping forward Chase Budinger in trade talks, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Among talks with several teams, the Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets have shown an interest, league sources said.
Houston is reluctant to take on the $5 million player option Budinger’s deal has in 2015-16, as are the Pistons, sources said. Nevertheless, the Pistons are taking a long look at Budinger and considering the possibility of making a deal. No trade is considered imminent for Budinger.
Detroit lost shooting guard Jodie Meeks for two months because of a fractured back.
The Wolves have a glut of forwards, and Budinger could struggle to find minutes this season. Budinger also is guaranteed $5 million for the 2014-15 season.
Budinger, 26, averaged 6.7 points for the Wolves a season ago. Budinger played three seasons in Houston after getting drafted in the second round in 2009.
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After some initial uncertainty, the New York Knicks plan to pick up the third-year contract option for guard Shane Larkin, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Knicks have been satisfied with Larkin, 22, in the preseason, and will guarantee the $1.67 million on his contract for the 2015-16 season.
The deadline for guaranteeing the third-year option comes at the end of October.
As Knicks president Phil Jackson plans to use significant salary cap space for high-profile free agents in the summer of 2015, he’s been cautious on committing guaranteed money to the payroll. In the preseason, Larkin has averaged 2.5 points and 1.5 assists in 20 minutes per game for New York.
New York acquired Larkin, guard Jose Calderon and center Sam Dalembert from Dallas as part of a deal for center Tyson Chandler and guard Raymond Felton in June.
Larkin was the 18th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft in which he was part of a deal from Atlanta to Dallas. He averaged 10.2 minutes per game as a rookie for the Mavericks in the 2013-14 season. Larkin was an All-ACC player at the University of Miami.
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Five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber is part of a potential ownership group that has submitted a letter of interest to the NBA about its desire to purchase the Atlanta Hawks, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Webber would have a modest financial investment in the partnership, but is expected to emerge as a face of the bid with an ultimate goal of becoming a prominent figure on the basketball side for the Hawks, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The primary investors are expected to become public in the near future, sources said. Several prominent groups with interest in buying the Hawks are also expected to become known soon.
Webber, 41, has had a home in Atlanta for the past decade and has been working to connect with community officials and organizations to make a case for reselling the organization to an increasingly dubious public.
Webber was a five-time All-NBA player in his 15-year career, including stops in Golden State, Washington, Sacramento, Philadelphia and Detroit. He was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1993 out of the University of Michigan. He's working as a television analyst for TNT and NBA TV, based out of Atlanta now.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports12 days ago
Michael Beasley has left the Memphis Grizzlies' training camp and signed a one-year deal with the Shanghai Sharks of the China Basketball Association, agent Jared Karnes told Yahoo Sports on Thursday.
Beasley had come to the Grizzlies’ camp on a non-guaranteed deal and his chances of making the opening night roster were still uncertain. The opportunity to accept a lucrative one-year deal with Shanghai proved too difficult to pass on.
Beasley hadn't been well enough to travel with Memphis on its current two-game preseason road trip, and as one team official said, "That was going to make it much harder for him to make the team."
Once the CBA season ends in March, Beasley will be free to sign with an NBA team.
The Sharks are owned by Yao Ming, the former Houston Rockets star.
Beasley, 25, had slipped from the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft to a journeyman trying to secure a minimum-salary NBA contract. He played 55 games for the Miami Heat a season ago, averaging 15 minutes and nearly eight points a game. He played well at times for the Heat, but was left out of the team's playing rotation in the playoffs.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports12 days ago
The Sacramento Kings have hired an NCAA Division III assistant coach to become head coach of their NBA Development League affiliate in Reno, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Kings have reached agreement with Grinnell (Iowa) College assistant David Arseneault Jr., presumably to try and incorporate the Division III program's well-chronicled high-scoring offensive system into the Bighorns.
Arseneault Jr. has been an assistant coach and point guard under his father, David Sr., as Grinnell has routinely set scoring records on the small college level. Grinnell averaged 116 points in the 2013-14 season.
It appears the Kings will try and follow the blueprint of the Houston Rockets, who hired a Division III coach, Nevada Smith, to bring a focus of three-point shooting and scoring to their D-League franchise.
Arseneault will replace coach Joel Abelson, who led Reno to the playoffs a year ago. Abelson left Reno to accept a job with the New York Knicks organization.
More NBA coverage from Yahoo Sports:Mon, Oct 20Sacramento99 - 106San AntonioGame Recap
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports13 days ago
The Denver Nuggets and forward Kenneth Faried have reworked a contract extension agreement, finalizing a four-year, $50 million-plus deal on Tuesday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The extension could be worth nearly $52 million with incentive clauses in the contract, sources said.
For the Nuggets and Faried, the paring down of an original five-year, $60 million pact on Sunday night ultimately satisfied the desires of the franchise and its burgeoning young talent.
After a closer examination of collective bargaining agreement fine print with the NBA on Monday morning, the fact that five-year deals on rookie extensions are only allowable for maximum contracts ultimately moved the sides toward reconstructing the extension.
Nevertheless, the sides found common ground on a $12.5 million annual deal that keeps Faried out of the restricted free-agent market in July 2015 when the possibility of Faried signing a richer offer sheet could've been painful for Denver to match.
Faried, 24, can become a free agent again at 29 years old and move quicker into potential free agency in a market flushed with an influx of $24 billion in television money and ballooning salary-cap space.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports15 days ago
Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried has reached agreement on a five-year, $60 million contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Faried is part of the 2011 NBA draft class eligible for extensions until Oct. 31.
The deal includes a partial guarantee in the fifth year that assures Faried he will make no less than $52 million over the life of the contract, sources said.
Denver general manager Tim Connelly and Faried's agent, Thad Foucher of Wasserman Media Group, started to seriously exchange proposals in the past week and ultimately came to terms on a deal Sunday night, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Faried has developed into one of the NBA's most relentless talents, a fierce rebounder and defender who has excelled offensively for the Nuggets when the game is speeded up. Faried played an integral part of the United States national team's gold-medal performance in the 2014 World Cup of Basketball in Spain.
Several other members of the 2011 draft class are negotiating extensions with their teams, including Golden State's Klay Thompson, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard, Chicago's Jimmy Butler and Utah's Alec Burks and Enes Kanter.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports17 days ago
HOUSTON – Looking back, Dwight Howard should've resisted the natural inclination to rush himself into that Los Angeles Lakers' season. He wanted to be on the floor so badly that opening night, restore his reputation and validate Hollywood's vision of a Showtime return. Back surgery had come and gone within four months, and there turned out to be a steep price for embracing such a rapid rehabilitation. There were consequences for sacrificing his body, for trying to honor his commitment.
Never did Howard reclaim his agility, explosion and conditioning two years ago, nor did it ever feel fully restored with the Houston Rockets. Howard is an athletic marvel of nature, size and strength and speed that separated him as one of the greatest defensive presences the sport had ever seen out of a center.
Twenty four months later, Howard sits inside a lounge outside the Rockets' locker room in the Toyota Center, and confirms what everyone else in this training camp tells you: This season, redemption could be his.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports20 days ago
Philadelphia's K.J. McDaniels, the 32nd overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, made a bold decision on his rookie contract, agreeing to a one-year, non-guaranteed tender that could make him a restricted free agent next July.
McDaniels’ agent, Mark Bartelstein, wouldn't accept the 76ers’ structure of two guaranteed contract seasons that included two non-guaranteed seasons in years three and four of the deal. The 76ers have had success using these contracts to control young players’ service and flipping the non-guaranteed seasons into valuable trade chips.
McDaniels, a talented offensive prospect, could get a significant offer sheet in July that the 76ers would have to match in order to re-sign him. Just to make McDaniels the qualifying offer to become a restricted free agent – as opposed to losing him as an unrestricted free agent – Philadelphia would have to guarantee McDaniels $1.2 million next season. That's more than other second-round picks are scheduled to make.