Each weekday morning, BDL serves up a handful of NBA-related stories to digest with your watermelon tea.
Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports: Still searching for another shooter, the Boston Celtics have Adam Morrison(notes) working out for their front-office and coaching staffs this week at the team's practice facility, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Morrison worked out on Tuesday and planned to do so again on Wednesday, sources said. The Celtics aren't close to deciding if they'll make any kind of make-good contract offer for training camp. [...] The Celtics have also worked out Cuttino Mobley(notes), Rashad McCants(notes) and Trenton Hassell(notes) the past couple days.
Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun Sentinel: As they prepare to reach new heights, the Miami Heat first plan to go great distances. For the first time in the franchise's 23 seasons, the team will not hold its training camp in South Florida. Instead, the Heat announced Wednesday it would hold a six-day training camp at Hurlburt Field and Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach in the state's Panhandle. The shift accomplishes two goals for the Heat. With the team's new high-profile star trio of LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes), it affords the type of privacy that certainly could not be found anywhere close to South Beach. The Heat will be staying at a hotel on the air base. Beyond that, it continues the team's commitment to the armed forces. Before each home game in recent years, the Heat has promoted its "HomeStrong" initiative, with soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan honored with gift presentations by Heat players at center court immediately after the playing of the national anthem. Hurlburt Field has been home to the Air Commandos since 1961. The Heat have planned several events at Eglin Air Force Base, which is home to the Air Armament Center. "We requested from Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field the opportunity to train at their facilities," Heat President Pat Riley said in a statement. "They have honored that request and the Miami Heat is extremely humbled to train in an environment where service, sacrifice and discipline are the norm. "We know our players will appreciate being immersed in that kind of environment, and supporting the men and women who defend our freedom every day."
Rick Bonnell, Charlotte Observer: Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins said [Antoine] Walker is playing pick-up at the invitation of former Kentucky teammate (and Charlotte center) Nazr Mohammed(notes), and fans shouldn't view this as a prelude to Walker being in the Bobcats' training camp. I will say Walker looked good; he needs a comeback after some financial misadventures, and clearly is back in shape. Higgins said former lottery pick Darius Miles(notes), who was with the Bobcats in preparation for summer league in July, is welcome at training camp. However, Higgins emphasized Miles hasn't yet signed any contract with the Bobcats. Power forward Tyrus Thomas(notes) looks in tremendous shape; looks like he's trimmed any spare weight over the summer (not that he ever looked chunky). Thomas made the best play I saw Wednesday, a look-away, one-handed pass out of the post to Walker, setting up an easy driving layup. Ex-Bobcat Larry Hughes(notes) participated in the pickup games Wednesday, although I wonder if there's any room for him on Charlotte's roster. The team is pretty deep at shooting guard with guaranteed contracts to Stephen Jackson(notes), Gerald Henderson(notes) and Matt Carroll(notes).
Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle: Seeking additional center depth with Yao Ming(notes) on a strict playing time limit, the Rockets have offered free agent center Erick Dampier(notes) a two-year, $4 million contract, a person with knowledge of the offer said on Wednesday. Dampier, who was waiv-ed by the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday, is also expected to consider a minimum contract offer from the Miami Heat and an offer from the Memphis Grizzlies. The Rockets also are in talks with Utah Jazz restricted free agent center Kyrylo Fesenko(notes), though the Jazz are expected to match the sort of salary-cap exception offer the Rockets could make. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey would not confirm that the team has made any offers. "We're happy with our group, but we're constantly looking at good players if they become available," Morey said. "There are some bigs that might be available. Mr. (Leslie) Alexander has approved spending money, but anything happening would be a long shot."
Lindsey S. Jones, Denver Post: For the record, Nuggets coach George Karl had no plans to ask Broncos coach Josh McDaniels for advice on how to deal with Carmelo Anthony(notes). McDaniels, though, has a lot of experience with a superstar player and trade demands. The coaches shared plenty of other information Wednesday when McDaniels invited Karl to Broncos headquarters to attend meetings, watch practice and speak to the team. "Hopefully Josh and I will spend some time with each other and develop a relationship. If we can be friends with one another, I'd like that," Karl said. "Hopefully they have a great year and he can come see us play great basketball." Karl, an admitted Pittsburgh Steelers fans, said he was impressed by the Broncos' preparation as they get ready for Sunday's home opener against the Seattle Seahawks. It seems Karl and McDaniels might also share some fundamental philosophies. "The one thing he said in his talk today that I really believe in is, it's how you play. It's not necessarily how well you play or who you play," Karl said. "Teaching is developing your players into how to play the game the right way. And the more players you have that play the right way, the easier it is to coach."
AP: The Utah Jazz have signed free-agent center Francisco Elson(notes). The Jazz are adding the 7-foot, 240-pound veteran as starter Mehmet Okur(notes) recovers from a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Okur was injured in Utah's playoff opener at Denver and may not be available for training camp and the preseason. General manager Kevin O'Connor announced the deal Wednesday in a statement. Terms were not disclosed.
Bill Lindelof, Sacramento Bee: The Anti-Defamation League has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who defaced a billboard image of Sacramento Kings player Omri Casspi(notes) with a swastika. The Sacramento Police Department is investigating as a possible hate crime graffiti painted on a mural of Kings players in midtown.
- Eglin Air Force Base
- Miami Heat