Ben Maller's NBA rumors

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Mon Apr 20 01:11:20 UTC 2009

Ben Maller's NBA rumors

_Grizzlies making another run at Amare Stoudemire?_ 

The simplest way to do that would be to win the draft lottery, of course.  
Blake Griffin, come on down. Failing that, the Grizzlies will have to be  
creative. Take another run at Atlanta's Josh Smith. See if Phoenix will send  
them Amare Stoudemire for Rudy Gay and a draft pick. "When you're a 24-win 
team,  you don't have untouchables," said GM Chris Wallace. Ben's  Take: 
Memphis has 0% chance to land Stoudemire. You think he's gonna  sign off on a 
trade to the Grizzlies? Of course not! -- Memphis  Commercial Appeal  
_Jazz coach: Andrei Kirilenko can't live up to contract_ 
At slightly more than $15 million per year, Andrei Kirilenko makes about 
$3.5  million more than next-closest teammate Boozer. He's due $16.45 million 
next  season and $17.82 million in 2010-11. At the time he signed his 
current $86  million contract extension in 2004, it was a max-money deal. That, 
Sloan  suggested, goes a long way toward explaining why expectations are so 
hard to  realize -- and magnifies each quick dash out of the locker room. 
"Sometimes  money gets in the way of other people's thoughts about players," the 
Jazz coach  said. "It's kind of like when we had (center Greg) Ostertag," 
he added.  "Ostertag got a big contract, and they expected him to play like 
(Kareem Abdul-)  Jabbar. Well, he wasn't. And that happens with a lot of 
people sometimes."  Ben's Take: My dream is to sign a big contract and have 
critics  call me overpaid. Kirilenko really is living the life. -- Deseret News  
_Thunder will try to trade Earl Watson_ 
Because of his $6.6 million salary next season, Thunder general manager Sam 
 Presti is expected to try and trade Earl Watson in the offseason. "It is 
what it  is," Watson said. "I'm a professional. It could transition in any 
way. If I come  back, it's important to know that I have a role. I don't want 
to be in a  position where I don't play like Chris Wilcox, especially going 
into the last  year of my deal. If I'm back, I want to know I'm wanted back. 
We'll see what  happens." -- Oklahoman  
_Eddy Curry trade key to Knicks offseason_ 
Eddy Curry's season was obliterated by injuries, misfortune and lack of  
fitness, robbing the Knicks of a potent scorer and denying them the chance to  
trade him and his hefty salary. Team officials said they hoped to see a  
different Curry in training camp. Donnie Walsh, the team president, said on  
Thursday that Curry had committed to a comprehensive off-season program with 
a  Detroit-based trainer. Walsh said the proposal came from Curry and his 
agent,  Leon Rose. One way or another, Curry, 26, is critical to the Knicks' 
future.  When healthy, he is a gifted low-post scorer who could be a potent 
force in  D'Antoni's supercharged offense. They also need Curry to be 
productive to have  any chance of trading him. Ben's Take: You know you are out of  
shape, when the fact you are going to work out with a trainer is news. In  
related news Kobe, LeBron, Wade and Pierce will also work out this 
offseason. -- NY Times  
_Steve Nash wants Suns extension through 2013_ 
As he seeks an extension through 2013, Steve Nash embraces the idea of a  
transition that may not put the team in the title mix. "I'd be happy just to 
be  a part of a really positive and optimistic atmosphere," Nash said. "Be a 
part of  a team that was really on the same page, plays together, plays 
hard every night  and makes the season exciting for one another and the fans. 
You may say I'm  lowering my expectations but I think that's a great place to 
start. If that's a  goal for us, maybe we can get to the next level. But I 
think sometimes it's  difficult to start playing the Band-Aid game and 
always put a Band-Aid over  problems." -- Arizona Republic  
_Gilbert Arenas wants to lead league in triple doubles_ 
Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas said he will be a little less Agent Zero and  
"turn into a real point guard. To be honest I want to lead the league in 
triple  doubles next season. We have enough scorers on this team where I can 
try to  dominate the game in other ways." Ben's Take: Arenas should  really 
hype himself and say he wants to AVERAGE a triple double next season.  -- 
Washington Post  
_Bucks might trade Jefferson or Redd next season_ 
That, of course, implies health and the reality that the Bucks will have no 
 free-agent money until after they could perhaps trade Richard Jefferson, 
Michael  Redd or both after the end of next season. Ben's Take: Should  the 
Bucks trade Redd or Jefferson whats the point of even having a franchise in  
Milwaukee? I've heard Jefferson would love to play for the Suns. --  
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  
_Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson Knicks trade bait_ 
Four Knicks players -- Chris Duhon, Al Harrington, Larry Hughes and Quentin 
 Richardson -- have contracts that will expire next season, which makes all 
of  them potential trade bait if Donnie Walsh sees the chance to add a top 
player.  "I'm going to protect" the 2010 plan, Walsh said, but that could 
change if an  All-Star is suddenly on the trade market. "There are exceptions 
to any kind of  plan." -- NY Times  
_Celts Kevin Garnett needs knee surgery_ 
Surgery looms According to the Celtics, Kevin Garnett will need surgery on  
the knee, though not because of the strained muscle that is keeping him off 
the  floor. A bone spur in the back of the knee - a condition that Garnett 
apparently  had before straining his knee muscle on Feb. 19 in Utah - will 
require a minor  procedure during the offseason. -- Boston Herald  
_Hunter wants trade if not in Nuggets' plans next season_ 
Steven Hunter wants to make sure he's playing next season. "I'm looking for 
 an opportunity,'' Hunter said in an interview with InDenver Times. "If 
there's  not an opportunity for me to come in and play (in Denver), I can't 
afford to sit  on the bench in my contract year.'' Does that mean, Hunter, who 
has one year and  $3.7 million left on his contract after this season, would 
want the Nuggets to  trade him if he's not in their plans? "Definitely, if 
I don't fit in, I would,''  he said. "But I definitely understand it's a 
business, but I got to take care of  business, too" Nuggets coach George Karl, 
though, doesn't rule out Hunter  playing a role with the team next season. 
-- In Denver Times  
_Vince Carter supports Nets coach Lawrence Frank_ 
As Vince Carter spoke of Lawrence Frank Thursday, he stated an eloquent 
case  for his coach's return, and he didn't even seem conscious of it. "He 
wants to  win. He's an X's and O's guy. He works his butt off," Carter said 
Thursday, as  the Nets parted ways after a 34-48 season. "I think sometimes he 
gets a little  too excited. I tell him all the time to calm down, but he 
never listens to me. I  say 'Relax, everything will be okay.' "But that was the 
biggest challenge for us  this year -- we were placed 15th or whatever. We 
wanted it so bad for this team  to do well because of the 'Can I handle it, 
can he handle it'" speculation.  -- Newark Star-Ledger  
_Suns look to make Gentry permanent coach_ 
The Suns first priority will be signing interim head coach Alvin Gentry to 
a  contract to make his status permanent. -- Arizona Republic  
_Gilbert Arenas: Wizards need to get serious_ 
After a break for rest and recovery, the Wizards - and Gilbert Arenas in  
particular - said it's time to get serious. "We've just been a goofball team 
for  a while now, and it's fun when you're winning. But when you're not 
winning, it  kinda looks depressing," Arenas said. Forward Caron Butler said he 
expected to  meet with team president Ernie Grunfeld possibly as early as 
Saturday and get  caught up on the new coaching hire and the outlook for the 
future. Then he  planned on attending playoff games in Miami and Los Angeles, 
allowing himself to  feel the sting of disappointment and use it as 
motivation for next season.  -- Washington Times  
_Owner: Wolves aren't for sale_ 
There have been rumblings that a group of investors is interested in buying 
 the Timberwolves, but owner Glen Taylor said that's news to him and that 
he  isn't looking to sell. -- Pioneer Press  
_Grant Hill plans on Suns return_ 
Suns forward Grant Hill is a free agent but already registered his older  
daughter for next year at her Valley school. "I plan on being here," he said. 
 "This feels like home." -- Arizona Republic  
_Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions are gone from  Milwaukee_ 
The lottery has guaranteed the Bucks nothing except Andrew Bogut in the 
last  10 years, but if they pick high enough to draft a point guard, they 
should let  Ramon Sessions go to free agency. Win the No. 1 and Blake Griffin 
becomes their  first real power forward since Vin Baker. In any event, Charlie 
Villanueva is  gone. With tax implications, the Bucks can't afford to even 
make him a  qualifying offer. Luke Ridnour will be gone if they're able to 
move his expiring  contract with Alexander as incentive. They should trade the 
lottery pick, too,  if it falls below a certain point. At minimum, the 
Bucks will come back with  Bogut, Redd, and Richard Jefferson as the 
centerpieces in the last season before  Skiles and Hammond will have enough payroll 
room to rebuild the roster. --  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  
_Bosh endorses Trianao as Raptors coach_ 
Chris Bosh, probably the Raptor who was closest to Sam Mitchell, the man 
Jay  Triano replaced last November, echoed Jose Calderon's thoughts "Jay did a 
good  job," Bosh said. "He always has positive vibes. He loves the game of 
basketball,  and I think he knows what he's doing ... I think everybody else 
is comfortable  with him." Triano, who will meet with Colangelo next week 
but is unsure when any  decision about his future with the team would be 
announced, did have some very  definite ideas about what this Raptors team needs 
to do to get better. --  Toronto Sun  
_Conley: Griz got their swagger back at end of season_ 
In the end, the Griz just may have instilled a sense of hope that there is 
a  foundation in place to build a bright future. "Everybody got their 
swagger back.  Everybody got their confidence," second-year point guard Mike 
Conley said.  "Everybody started to believe we could win games and not just play 
a team close.  The last 20 games were a big step from that aspect. "We had 
more respect for  each other. We trusted each other. We became more of a 
team. Before, we were  more individuals, trying to go one-on-one too much. But 
the teamwork was  evident, with guys making extra passes and being unselfish. 
The end result is  that everybody looked good and we were playing better." 
-- Memphis  Commercial Appeal  
_Bulls Salmons looks to slow Celts Paul Pierce_ 
Bulls forward John Salmons will have the primary defensive assignment on 
Paul  Pierce, who leads the Celtics in scoring with 20.5 points per game. 
''He's a  tough cover,'' Salmons said. ''He's got every move in the book. He's 
real  herky-jerky. He's one of those guys where every jab-step or pump-fake 
he makes,  you have to respect it.'' Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said the 
Salmons-Pierce  matchup is ''huge'' when it comes to the Bulls' chances in the 
series. But Del  Negro said Pierce will draw defensive attention from all 
the Bulls. ''At some  point in the series, they're all going to be guarding 
him, whether it's in  transition or a post-up or switch,'' Del Negro said. 
''We have to handle him.''  -- Chicago Sun-Times  
_Kevin Garnett to join Celtics cheerleaders_ 
Forward Kevin Garnett, per request of Celtics management, is about to fill 
a  role he is known to hate, as a non-playing member of the bench. "He will 
be on  the bench," Doc Rivers said after making the announcement that, 
barring a  miracle, Garnett will not play in the playoffs. "I told him that we 
need him out  there. "We just hope that he doesn't get a technical." All 
concerned know how  beneficial even an inactive Garnett can be. Throughout his 
inactivity - Garnett  played in only four of the last 29 games of the season - 
the All-Star forward  watched home games in the locker room. He was quick 
to offer advice. He'll now  have a chance to do this in huddles. "If he can't 
be on the floor, then I'm sure  he'll be helping from the sidelines," said 
Ray Allen. -- Boston Herald  
_Rasheed Wallace: Cavaliers NBA's 'Goliath'_ 
When you scan all the pundits and prognosticators, the Pistons aren't being 
 given much of a chance to win a game let alone a series from the powerful  
Cleveland Cavaliers. Rasheed Wallace, your thoughts? "It's going to be a 
good  challenge," he said. "They've got a pretty good record, a pretty good 
home  record and I know they are feeling themselves right now. So I guess it's 
going  to be like David vs. Goliath." -- Detroit News  
_Steve Kerr: Suns not a championship team_ 
Suns GM Steve Kerr joined XTRA Sports 910 in Phoenix and commented on his  
quote that "this team is not a contender" "I didn't think we were a 
championship  team this year, I think that's fairly obvious. But even if we had 
complete  health and even if we had not had the coaching turmoil, I didn't think 
we were a  championship team. I don't think I'm spreading any news here, I 
think people  understand that, but I just want to make that clear. On the 
other hand, I do  believe with a little better luck and less turmoil, we're 
right in the middle of  the pack in the Western playoff hunt." -- Sports Radio 
Interviews / XTRA  Sports 910 (Phoenix)  
_Rockets hope experience is edge_ 
Rockets center Yao Ming said the team would quickly get over the  
disappointment of Wednesday's loss, largely because the players have to. "I  think 
everybody will get the mindset, the right attitude about the playoffs  because 
this is the playoffs," Yao said. "I don't think anybody will go out  there 
and not prepare themselves. "We have to get our mindset into the playoffs,  
myself and my team to prepare for this. This is a serious season now 
starting.  Their first time in the playoffs since 2003, a lot of the guys are in 
their  first time playing in the playoffs. A good side is that we can talk 
about  playoff experience. Maybe we have a little more than them (Blazers). The 
flip  side is they will maybe have more energy because it's their first 
time playing."  -- Houston Chronicle  
_Skiles: Bucks need to be mentally tougher_ 
General manager John Hammond and the Bucks' front office will work to add  
some talent and undoubtedly will make a few changes. But Scott Skiles told 
each  player to check his own approach and professionalism while working 
toward next  season. "We need to become much mentally tougher," Skiles said. "We 
need to be  in better shape early in the season, coming into camp. We've 
got all the way  around the horn commitments from everybody with regard to 
that. "We need to  understand the significant moments in the game and react 
accordingly." --  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  
_Report: Allen Iverson's bodyguard strikes partygoer in face with  bottle_ 
A birthday celebration early Easter Sunday turned into a bar-room brawl  
involving a bodyguard of Pistons All-Star Allen Iverson, according to claims 
by  partygoers. The incident reportedly started about 2 a.m. Sunday at the 
South  Beach Lounge at 3011 West Grand Blvd., Detroit Police spokesman James 
Tate said.  "According to the people who made the complaint, there was a 
birthday party in  the bar, and the group was sitting in a booth next to Iverson 
and two of his  bodyguards," Tate said. "Supposedly, Iverson's guards were 
flashing some money,  and then they locked eyes with the partygoers. Words 
were supposedly exchanged  back and forth, and then one of the bodyguards 
allegedly struck one of the  partygoers in the face with a bottle, causing a 
laceration over the left eye."  -- Detroit News  
_Charles Barkley: Bunch of losers tweeting_ 
Charles Barkley says he'll never move on to Twitter. "A bunch of losers  
tweeting," he says. "The concept of tweeting is that people are following you  
around in your everyday life." Ben's Take: Charles, not  everyone on 
Twitter was busted for a DUI on the way to visit a hooker. -- USA Today  
_NBA TV signs deal with DirecTV_ 
NBA TV has expanded its distribution on DirecTV, sealing a new multi-year  
deal with the satellite provider. Under the new pact, which begins with the  
2009-2010 basketball season, NBA TV will now be offered as part of 
DirecTV's  "Choice XTRA" tier. The 24-hour network will also move down to channel 
216, from  its current position on channel 601, and be provided in both 
standard and  high-definition signals. "NBA League Pass," which delivers up to 40  
out-of-market games each week to subscribers, will also continue to be 
offered.  -- Variety  
_Wizards Arenas: I'm a hype man, all smoke and mirrors_ 
Wizards star Gilbert Arenas said he doesn't want to be a distraction next  
season and laughed at the reports that he could be a handful for the next 
coach  to deal with. "I know everyone thinks I'm going to be the big head 
case," Arenas  said. "But I don't fight with anybody. I don't fight with the 
coaches. I don't  fight with the players. I don't really say anything -- only 
to the media. I'm  just a hype man. It's all smoke and mirrors with me." -- 
Washington Post  
_Wolves fire radio analyst and TV sideline reporter_ 
Pssst: On Thursday, Timberwolves radio analyst Kevin Lynch and TV sideline  
reporter Lea B. Olson were fired with seven other Wolves employees. Neither 
 Lynch's nor Olson's position will be filled. -- Pioneer Press  
_NBA coaches support Chuck Daly's cancer battle_ 
The National Basketball Coaches' Association announced Thursday it will  
dedicate the 2009 NBA playoffs to Chuck Daly. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is 
 president of the NBCA and said coaches throughout the playoffs will wear a 
lapel  pin emblazoned with the initials "CD" in support of Daly, who was 
diagnosed with  pancreatic cancer in February. The NBCA also is developing the 
Chuck Daly  Lifetime Achievement Award to honor a current or former NBA 
head or assistant  coach. -- Dallas Morning News  
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