July 15, 2009
Each weekday morning, Ball Don't Lie serves up a handful of NBA-related stories to digest with your creamy, cheesy breakfast casserole.
Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times: "Lakers owner Jerry Buss, an avid poker player, called Lamar Odom's(notes) bluff at the negotiating table Tuesday, following through with his threat to pull the offer to Odom. The Lakers admitted that the offer Buss presented to Odom and his representatives has been available for over a week, but that because the unrestricted free agent never responded, Buss grew upset and broke off all negotiations. 'Yes, we have taken the deal off the table,' Lakers public relations director John Black said. 'Talks have broken down for the time being.' Black was asked if talks could resume in the future. 'That's within the realm of possibility,' he said. Lakers team officials, who were not authorized to speak about the negotiations, said Buss offered Odom a deal for $9 million a season for four years at $36 million, or $10 million a season over three years for a total of $30 million. Odom and his agent, Jeff Schwartz, were looking for $10 million a year over five seasons."
Dave D'Alessandro, The Star-Ledger: "... it would no longer surprise us if the Nets became the first team in memory to not add a single free agent during the offseason. In fact, among the desirable frontcourt free agents remaining — Lamar Odom, Marvin Williams(notes), David Lee(notes), Jamario Moon(notes), Marquis Daniels(notes), Linas Kleiza(notes) — they're not in play for any of them, we're told, because they don't want to add payroll, and they don't see anyone who is cost-effective. [...] So being the opportunity shoppers they are, the Nets will just hope one of these guys falls — and falls, and falls — until they can steal him for a piece of the midlevel. 'About three or four guys,' Rod Thorn said, when asked how many guys may shake loose that he has his eye on. 'Three or four we'll monitor closely, and talk to agents to see what's happening. But not at a point where the agents feel they will get what they're asking for.'"
Marc J. Spears, The Boston Globe: "[Danny] Ainge's excitement is also due in part to the confidence he has that free agent forward Glen Davis(notes) will be back. Davis showed his value by doing a solid job filling in during Garnett’s absence during the regular season and particularly the playoffs. [...] 'We like him and want him back,' Ainge said about Davis. 'We’re trying to get Glen back. We’re planning on having Glen back.' The problem for Boston is other teams are also interested. Detroit, Utah, Cleveland, Charlotte, Dallas, and New Orleans also covet Big Baby. [...] So how much should Davis be paid? One NBA team liked Davis more than newly signed Magic free agent forward Brandon Bass(notes), who received a four-year, $18 million deal. Utah restricted free agent forward Paul Millsap(notes), who is regarded slightly higher than Davis, signed a four-year, $32 million offer sheet with Portland that could be matched. Don’t be surprised if Davis signs an offer sheet that will challenge Boston, which is over the luxury tax and recently signed Wallace to a three-year, $18 million deal."
Howard Beck, The New York Times: "[David] Kahn’s roster of mentor figures also includes Commissioner David Stern, who wrote him a recommendation letter for New York University law school nearly 20 years ago. The two also worked closely in recent years, when Kahn owned and operated a group of five Development League teams. In the D-League, Kahn hired nine coaches in four years, preparing him for the process he has now undertaken in Minneapolis. But it is the Rubio situation that may ultimately define his career. For that, Kahn fell back on his sportswriting roots 'I do not want to be the person — and maybe this is your headline — I do not want to be the person who trades Ricky Rubio(notes) without knowing what we’re trading,' he said. 'I think we know already who he is, and I’m very, very excited about it.'"
Marcus Thompson II, Contra Costa Times: "After spending much of his first two seasons on the bench in Atlanta, [Acie] Law expressed relief over getting out of Atlanta when the Warriors acquired him last month in the Jamal Crawford(notes) trade. He said he was hoping the Warriors were his chance to finally show what he can do. So far, not so good. According to several Warriors staffers in attendance for summer league, Law is not in the best of shape and seems to be lacking confidence. He's shown his ability to pass and court vision — he's found forward Anthony Randolph(notes) in transition on several occasions — but he's hardly done enough to make anyone believe he'll be competing for playing time this coming season. The Warriors have the option of picking up the fourth year of Law's rookie contract (2010-11). But that seems unlikely at this point considering his lack of production and the fact he's most valuable to the Warriors as a $2.2 million expiring contract."
Joe Freeman, The Oregonian: "Rookie point guard Patrick Mills(notes), who fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during the Blazers' second summer league practice, underwent successful surgery Monday. Pritchard said doctors inserted a screw to repair the foot and Mills is expected to miss four to six months. That eliminates any chance at a training camp invitation for Mills, but Pritchard refused to address his future with the team. The Blazers selected Mills with their last pick of last month's draft, No. 55 overall."
Jan Hubbard, Dallas Morning News: "From a long-term perspective, [Moussa] Seck is the most fascinating player on the Mavericks' summer league team, even more so than No. 1 pick Rodrique Beaubois from France. Seck, however, is unlikely to even get on the court this week at the summer league because he has played only with an amateur team in Italy last season. 'But,' Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle noted, 'he has something you can't teach.' Seck is the essence of a project — a raw talent that is a sweet dream of Mavericks executives because he is not only 7-4, but also has surprisingly good basketball skills. Seck's presence in the summer league is remarkable, considering that two years ago, his playing experience was confined to playgrounds in his native Senegal. 'He's one of the most teachable and coachable big men I have ever seen,' said Mavericks European scout Roberto Carmenati. 'He has a freakish wingspan. He can run, he's very coordinated, he has a nice shooting form, soft hands, huge hands, and he has a natural ability to get offensive rebounds and block shots.'"
Associated Press: "The Phoenix Suns want to see how Amare Stoudemire returns from eye surgery before offering him a contract extension. The All-Star forward missed the rest of the season after a Feb. 20 operation to repair a partially detached retina, and last week he underwent another procedure as part of the recovery process. 'I think everything looks great, but before you make that kind of a financial commitment, or any commitment in this league, you have to know that your player is fine and ready to go,' Suns general manager Steve Kerr said on Tuesday. 'I'm on the same page as Charlie (Grantham, Stoudemire's agent) and Amare. We need to see Amare on the court in October and see that everything's going to be OK, which we fully expect. Before we make that kind of commitment, you'd better be sure.' After a workout at U.S. Airways Center last week, Stoudemire said he believes he deserves a maximum extension."
Jonathan Abrams, The New York Times: "Commissioner David Stern said Tuesday that less than half the NBA's teams turned a profit last season and that some owners had argued that a worst-case decrease in the salary cap of 5 percent might be too optimistic. The league’s board of governors convened here and will meet again Aug. 4 with the players union in hopes of jump-starting negotiations toward reaching a new collective bargaining agreement. The current one expires in June 2011. Last week, the league predicted that its salary cap could drop to between $50.4 million and $53.6 million in 2010-11, which would represent a loss between 2.5 percent and 5 percent in basketball-related revenue. On Tuesday, Stern added that teams could face at least a 10 percent drop in ticket revenue next season. 'We are anxious to get going,' Stern said of the negotiations. 'We’re not planning on a miracle here, but on the other hand, we’d be prepared to accept one.'"