Knicks claim PG Williams off waivers
The New York Knicks claimed point guard Jason Williams(notes) off waivers Friday from the Los Angeles Clippers, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The Knicks have until Aug. 6 to negotiate a contract with the 10-year NBA veteran. Williams actually retired on Sept. 26, 2008, from the Los Angeles Clippers despite never playing in a game with the club after being signed as a free agent a month earlier.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder averaged 8.8 points and 4.6 assists during the 2007-08 season with the Miami Heat and won an NBA title with the franchise in 2006. Williams, 33, also has played for Sacramento and Memphis.
The West Virginia native has averaged 11.4 points, 6.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.4 rebounds during his career while shooting 32.5 percent from three-point range.
Williams wasn’t alone on the waivers list, as the following players were waived Friday, according to a league source: Milwaukee Bucks forward Bruce Bowen(notes) and guard Salim Stoudemire, Boston Celtics guard Gabe Pruitt(notes), Los Angeles Lakers forward Sun Yue(notes) and Los Angeles Clippers guard Mike Taylor(notes). Bowen is contemplating retirement but could also have interest from Orlando, a source told Yahoo! Sports.
The NBA’s 2009-10 regular-season schedule is slated to be sent to all 30 teams on Aug. 3, according to a league memo. The schedule will be released to the public at 1 p.m. ET on Aug. 4.
Free agent forward Hakim Warrick agreed to a one-year deal worth $3 millon with the Milwaukee Bucks, agent Bill Duffy told Yahoo! Sports on Friday. The Memphis Grizzlies recently made Warrick a free agent by pulling back a $3 million qualifying offer.
Warrick averaged 11.6 points and five rebounds last season with Memphis.
“It’s a perfect fit,” Duffy said. “He has a chance to start at small forward and power forward.”
Warrick, 27, is entering his fifth season in the league.
Nate Robinson(notes) is close to signing a one-year, $5 million contract with the New York Knicks, a source with knowledge of the talks said Saturday. The deal is expected to be finalized early this week.
Robinson, a restricted free agent, was courted by Greek team Olympiakos. He averaged a career-best 17.2 points and 4.1 assists in 74 games with the Knicks last season. New York, which nearly traded Robinson to Sacramento midway through the season, is trying to preserve as much salary-cap room as possible for the 2010 free-agent class.
The Clippers are believed to be willing to give Sessions an offer sheet that begins in the $4 million to $4.5 million range. It’s unclear whether that would be enough to dissuade the Bucks from matching.
Denver Nuggets free agent forward Linas Kleiza(notes) is expected to get a contract offer from Olympiakos next week, a source with knowledge of the team’s plans said. The offer might not be enough to persuade Kleiza to join former Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Childress(notes) with the Greek team.
Minnesota Timberwolves general manager David Kahn confirmed he has begun the second round of interviews for the team’s head-coaching position. Kahn said he planned to have the candidates show some of their coaching techniques on the court but wouldn’t discuss other details of the search.
“I think if you’re going to hire a coach, my personal feeling, and this is me, maybe I’m a fool, bringing someone into a hotel suite or a conference room is fine,” Kahn said. “But I felt like the court is their work space and part of the second round is to take people out there and go over some X’s-and-O’s stuff so they can show me right there.”
League sources say the finalists include ABC-TV analyst and former NBA point guard Mark Jackson, Houston Rockets assistant Elston Turner, Los Angeles Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis and Portland Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams. Jackson has been considered the front-runner.
Kahn recently returned from Spain, where he met with Ricky Rubio(notes), the Timberwolves’ first-round pick. Kahn hoped to help Rubio find a way to lower the buyout with his Spanish team, but would not discuss specifics of the trip.
“With Rubio, I’m just trying to make sure we don’t overstep our bounds while we go through this stuff,” Kahn said.
The Memphis Grizzlies are expected to sign free-agent guard Marcus Williams soon to a make-good contract, a league source said. Williams averaged 13.4 points, 8.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds for Memphis during the summer league.
The Grizzlies also rescinded a $3 million qualifying offer to forward Hakim Warrick(notes) as a cost-cutting measure, Warrick’s agent Bill Duffy said. Warrick is attracting interest from six teams and it’s unlikely he will re-sign with Memphis at a lower salary, Duffy said.
A Grizzlies source doubted the decision would cause the team to renew talks with Iverson.
Two USA Basketball officials said Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant(notes) has played “head and shoulders” above everyone else at the minicamp and is the only lock among the players here to make the senior national team next year. USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said a 25-man national team roster will be named in November and paired down to about 18 next July. … Team USA has to play five exhibition games before the 2010 World Championships. Colangelo said New York is expected to host one exhibition while other possible sites include Las Vegas, Chicago, Spain, Greece and England. Colangelo expects players to serve a 31-day commitment for the World Championships. The team might train in Chicago.