- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
Free-agent forward Michael Beasley is working out for the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs at the franchise's practice facility this week, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Beasley has had several workouts for teams this summer, including two with the Los Angeles Lakers, but remains unsigned for the 2014-15 season.
The Spurs have 14 guaranteed contracts for next season, and so far, they haven't been able to come to terms with restricted free agent Aron Baynes.
Beasley, 25, has slipped from the No. 2 overall pick by the Miami Heat in the 2008 NBA draft to a journeyman trying to secure a minimum-salary contract. He played 55 games for the Heat a season ago, averaging 15.1 minutes and nearly eight points per game. He was left out of the Heat's rotation in the playoffs.
Off-the-court issues have contributed to NBA teams' reluctance to sign Beasley, but there's still a belief he can be an effective scorer. His best NBA season came with Minnesota in 2010-11, when he averaged 19.2 points per game. He also played with the Phoenix Suns in 2012-13.
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- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
Glenn Robinson III, the 40th pick in the 2014 NBA draft, has reached agreement on a guaranteed contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The process of getting a deal done with Robinson, a former University of Michigan forward, became a circuitous process because of the Timberwolves' roster upheaval this summer.
Robinson flew to Minneapolis to sign an agreement on Monday and planned to begin preparations with the T'wolves for the start of training camp later this month, sources said.
Robinson had been believed to have first-round NBA draft talent, but dropped to Minnesota at No. 40. The T'wolves could go to training camp with 16 contracts that include guarantees for the 2014-15 season, and could still have roster moves left to make.
Robinson, 20, left Michigan for the NBA draft after his sophomore season. As a sophomore, he averaged 13 points on 49 percent shooting. Michigan advanced to the NCAA title game and the Elite Eight in his two seasons in the program.
Robinson's father, Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson, was the No. 1 pick in the 1994 NBA draft and had 11 productive seasons in the league.
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- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
MADRID – The confetti falls, the star-spangled banner plays and the USA Basketball illusion plays itself out again and again. Here come the Duke and Syracuse coaches hugging the NBA stars, primping for pictures that they'll rush through texts and Twitter to star recruits. Pity poor Serbia, the silver-medalist props to a college recruiting video.
The World Cup of Basketball is a wonderful event, a well-run, well-coordinated tournament with pride and history and gravitas. It is something else, too: beneath the threshold of worthiness for NBA stars to participate. For Indiana Pacers star Paul George to have broken his leg in a televised pick-up game on the Vegas strip never felt as senseless as did watching the United States hang 129 points on Serbia in the gold-medal game Sunday at Palacio de los Deportes.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
MADRID – As the hours lurched to the gold-medal game on Sunday night, Ricky Rubio still wondered whether he could bring himself to a television for United States-Serbia. For weeks, there had been a sure, steady beat of anticipation of Spain reaching these World Cup of Basketball Finals, only to witness that opportunity obliterated. Spain had its forever team, and somehow let itself lose to France.
"I don't know if I'm going to watch the game yet," Rubio told Yahoo Sports on Sunday afternoon. "It's really tough right now. Everybody was talking about basketball here in Spain … and we had one bad day and everything went away."
Rubio needed this summer with the Gasol brothers and Serge Ibaka, with Jose Calderon and Juan Navarro, with a talented, winning team that played beautiful ball, played together. He had listened to Minnesota Timberwolves officials, and grown stronger in his upper body, sturdier for the pounding of a pro point guard. He is 23 years old, and still holds the promise to be a dazzling NBA player. Rubio's gifts with the ball and pass are unique, and yes, still largely untapped.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
All the way until his final statement of goodbye, Danny Ferry still refers to the belittling African diatribe on Luol Deng as belonging to someone else. On his way to a so-called leave of absence, he still insisted "these were not my words…" They were Ferry's words. They belonged to him because they belonged to the Atlanta Hawks.
They belonged to him because they belonged to a culture within the Atlanta Hawks where one of his underlings didn't think twice about inputting them into the Hawks' database. That person didn't fear the general manager's response. The words belonged to Ferry because no one else studying and re-studying the Deng intelligence report – a player with whom they would offer a $10 million-a-year contract – thought it necessary to delete from the file.
They belonged to Ferry because he climbed onto a conference call with ownership and was so lazy that day, so devoid of an original thought of his own, that he went out of his way to describe the shortcomings of Deng in a way that never should've been part of a private conversation – never mind a corporate one.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry had been cornered where no NBA executive wants to be: a late afternoon, Friday conference call with the limited ownership partners. For all the contract language that dictated that Ferry had only to report to owner Bruce Levenson, these information calls remained an obligation of his duties.
One of the owners on the line in June, Michael Gearon Jr., had once been a far greater power player within the franchise. No more. Levenson and Ferry had neutralized him, and Gearon's days of input into basketball decisions had been long gone. He disdained Ferry, and told people often inside and outside the organization: He longed for Ferry's ouster as GM.
So now, Gearon had a notoriously impatient general manager on a conference call on a Friday afternoon, with owners whom sources say he didn't respect or like; or in some cases, both. As it turned out, Gearon had the perfect storm for the beginning of the end for the Atlanta Hawks’ two most powerful figures: Levenson and Ferry.
GRANADA, Spain – All around Serge Ibaka, the children in the Republic of Congo's capital city of Brazzaville had come clutching belief in the sudden possibilities of a basketball life. Fathers and sons marched to Ibaka on a charitable July journey back to his boyhood home, elders declaring the kids had stored soccer balls and devoted themselves to the pursuit of NBA dreams.
Beneath Ibaka's feet on the old neighborhood court, cardboard inserts once separated the holes in his shoes and the gruff, dirt surface. Now, it had been all replaced with a glistening, modern court. Above Ibaka, bent rims and hollowed-out backboards had been transformed into FIBA-standard goals.
Back to present a transformed court on this summer day, back to play a part in the refurbishing of two regional orphanages, what washed over Ibaka was a sense of how deep his roots remained, how far had he had come, how long the odds.
University of Kentucky coach John Calipari is finalizing plans for an unprecedented two-day campus scouting combine for NBA executives to evaluate his star-laden roster of professional prospects, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Calipari has invited officials of the 30 NBA teams to send personnel to Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 11-12 to watch his players do everything from run full-court five-on-five and NBA-style pick-and-roll sets to individual skill work.
The event is a chance for Calipari to impress a throng of top high school recruits on campus visits and once again frame his program as college basketball's best NBA feeder system. Kentucky is expected to be a consensus preseason No. 1 in the polls.
After the combine, Calipari plans to shut out NBA executives and scouts from his practices for several weeks – perhaps even months – into the season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
This way, Calipari can avoid the distractions that a constant parade of NBA scouts can present to so many talented young players in the practice gym.
NBA personnel aren't allowed to interact with college undergraduates, but Calipari can simply shape his workouts to be conducive to the NBA's needs.
The Detroit Pistons have hired ex-NBA forward Pat Garrity as their new director of strategic planning, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Garrity has had a successful post-playing career in the financial industry and reunites with Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy in Detroit.
Garrity, 38, played 10 years in the NBA, including nine with the Orlando Magic. After two torn ACL injuries, he retired after Van Gundy's first season with the Magic in 2008. Garrity, a graduate of Notre Dame and Duke's Fuqua School of Business, was a high-ranking officer in the National Basketball Players Association for eight years.
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- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports10 days ago
The trigger of events that led to the toppling of Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson began with general manager Danny Ferry referring to free agent Luol Deng as having "some African in him" on an organizational conference call, league sources with direct knowledge of the probe told Yahoo Sports.
"He's still a young guy overall," Ferry said, league sources with direct knowledge of the probe told Yahoo. “He's a good guy overall. But he's not perfect. He's got some African in him. And I don't say that in a bad way."
Deng, considered one of the highest-character players in the NBA, was born in the Sudan.
The call with the ownership group had been set up to inform them of free-agent options on the market in July.
Ferry met with the Hawks coaches and players on Sunday and disclosed those comments with an apology, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Ferry reached out to Deng and Deng's agent, Ron Shade, on Monday, Shade told Yahoo Sports. Ferry hadn't yet spoken to Deng, but he did talk to Shade, a Chicago-based agent. "I have no reaction, but we've spoken," Shade told Yahoo.