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Tag:Ricky Rubio
Posted on: June 25, 2009 8:56 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2009 1:19 am
 

Amare talks heating up; Minny dealing?

Discussions between the Suns and Warriors about a trade that would send Amare Stoudemire to Golden State were advancing Thursday night, two people familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com.

Key components of the deal were still coming into focus, but both people -- one a rival executive and the other a person with knowledge of the Warriors' plans -- said the talks were serious enough for contract negotiations between Stoudemire and the Warriors to commence.

A trade sending Stoudemire to the Warriors would explain Golden State's selection of yet another combo guard, leaving open the possibility that new GM Larry Riley selected Stephen Curry for the Suns.

UPDATE: However, contrary to logic, another executive said the Warriors are keeping Curry. The pieces going to Phoenix, the executive said, would be Andris Biedrins, Marco Belinelli, and Brandan Wright. The deal can't go through until July 1, and Stoudemire needs to agree to a contract extension with Golden State, which can't be signed until July 8.

In another possible resolution to a curious draft night development, an Eastern Conference GM said there was growing belief among team executives that the Timberwolves were looking to trade one of the two point guards they selected with the fifth and sixth picks. Speculation immediately centered around the Knicks, although this executive was not familiar with a scenario that would send a package including No. 8 pick Jordan Hill to Minnesota for Rubio. More on that as it evolves.

UPDATE: A high-level source familiar with the organizational strategy of both the Knicks and Timberwolves has told CBSSports.com that Rubio is staying in Minnesota and Hill in New York. T-Wolves GM David Kahn could not be higher on Rubio, and the Knicks' brass loves Hill for the interior toughness he will bring. The Rubio-to-New York speculation isn't true.

UPDATE: Or at least it's not true from the standpoint of it actually happening. Rubio's agent, Dan Fegan, would like it to be true. But Kahn is holding his ground and holding onto Rubio, setting up a showdown with a player who could opt to stay in Spain for a couple of years rather than freeze his culito off in Minnesota.

Posted on: June 23, 2009 11:13 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 6:24 pm
 

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

The keys to the draft are now tucked neatly in the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A flurry of pre-draft trade activity on Tuesday left Minnesota’s new GM, David Kahn, with four first-round picks – including the fifth and sixth – with clear designs on using at least two of them to move as high as needed to snag Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio or UConn center Hasheem Thabeet.

Or both.

The next 10 picks after the Clippers take Blake Griffin are no longer a bore. And if this works out the way Kahn envisions, neither are the Timberwolves.

To recap: Pending league approval, Minnesota has agreed to acquire Washington’s No. 5 overall pick along with Etan Thomas, Oleksiy Pecherov and Darius Songaila for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. With the fifth, sixth, 18th, and 28th picks, Minnesota is far from finished. A person familiar with the team’s plans said Minnesota is loaded for a run at Rubio, the gifted but raw 18-year-old point guard, and Thabeet, the 7-3 shot-blocker who would finally replace Kevin Garnett’s inside presence. “In a perfect world, both,” said the person with knowledge of Minnesota’s master plan.

Either way, this sends shivers through the Sacramento front office, which seemed to be hoping Rubio would be available with the No. 4 pick. Even more so, Kahn appears to have trumped his former boss with the Indiana Pacers, Knicks president Donnie Walsh, who has done a commendable job persuading some rival executives to believe that coach Mike D’Antoni wanted Rubio. But as much as Rubio’s play-making skills could energize D’Antoni’s free-wheeling, pick-and-roll offense, the player the Knicks covet is Davidson’s Stephen Curry, according to a high-level management source with knowledge of the team’s plans. But the Knicks believe they may not be able to land Curry with the eighth pick, as evidenced by their serious talks with Washington about the No. 5 selection – talks that stalled, according to a person familiar with them, when the Wizards balked at taking back Jared Jeffries and his $6.9 million player option for 2010-11.

Minnesota had to give up two proven commodities in Foye and Miller, and the deal came together like a perfect storm because of Washington’s desire to add veterans to its core of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison. The Wizards entertained numerous offers for the fifth pick, even exploring a deal with Phoenix that would’ve yielded Amare Stoudemire. They backed away from that one when the Suns asked for Butler.

In a draft in which team executives see no can’t-miss stars after Griffin, the Wizards didn’t want or need to pay a lottery pick to join a team that management believes is ready to contend now with a veteran roster and experienced coach, Flip Saunders. The trade also accomplished the Wizards’ goals of creating a roster spot and not taking back any salary beyond next season. The impact on Washington’s 2010-11 payroll is a wash.

The day began with a report that the Celtics had engaged in low-level discussions with the Pistons about a blockbuster scenario that would’ve sent Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen to Detroit for a package including Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stuckey. The talks never went anywhere, but sparked league-wide curiosity about Boston management’s level of discontent with Rondo.

The Spurs struck first in what is shaping up to be a frenzied trading period, acquiring Richard Jefferson from Milwaukee for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto. It was a clear sign that the Spurs are determined to make at least one more championship run with their core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. For Milwaukee, acquiring $11.3 million in contracts that expire after next season clears cap space to re-sign promising guard Ramon Sessions.

Oberto was, in turn, sent to Detroit for Amir Johnson as the Pistons continue obliterating their roster in preparation for the 2010 free-agent frenzy. Joe Dumars now has only three players under contract for 2010-11 – Prince, Stuckey, and Arron Affalo. UPDATE: The Pistons plan to buy out Oberto, thus trimming more payroll for next season.

So, welcome to the 2009 NBA draft, a.k.a. the new trade deadline.
Posted on: June 22, 2009 12:49 pm
 

Pre-draft buzz and Phil coming back?

Some good pre-draft buzz from SportsRadioInterviews.com, plus a semi-commitment from Phil Jackson to return for one more title run with the Lakers.

Jackson hasn't committed to coming back for the final year of his contract, and he has a loose deadline with management to inform the team of his intentions in the next 2-3 weeks. In this radio interview, Jackson repeats that he has some medical issues that must be resolved before he decides, but adds, "I’d still like to push on through another year if possible.”

You can also find transcripts and audio clips of Memphis GM Chris Wallace saying he has no qualms about picking Ricky Rubio at No. 2 without working him out ... Brandon Jennings having no regrets about bypassing college to play in Europe ... Stephen Curry saying he thinks he's going to the Knicks ... and Rajon Rondo addressing trade rumors.
Posted on: June 22, 2009 9:21 am
 

Knicks and Wiz talking swap?

There's going to be a lot of this over the next few days, because the teams holding picks 3-7 in the NBA draft Thursday night are motivated to do what Elaine used to say to Jerry on Seinfeld.

Get out ...

The latest buzz has the Knicks and Wizards talking about swapping the No. 8 and No. 5 picks, respectively, in a trade that would accomplish much of what each team is looking to do this offseason. Alan Hahn of Newsday checked out a rumor that the Knicks were offering Wilson Chandler and found it to be baseless. But both teams have plenty of, um, assets to work with that would make a deal work.

The Wizards are said to be intrigued by the prospect of bringing back ex-Wizards Larry Hughes and Jared Jeffries, who were key contributors on Washington's 2006 playoff team. The Wizards also would love to unload Etan Thomas' expiring contract. The Knicks are just the place for it. Donnie Walsh has ended the perception that the Knicks are simply a dumping ground for bad contracts, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't take an expiring deal if he could unload Jeffries, who has $6.9 million due in 2010-11. If Walsh is going to maximize his flexibility in the free-agent summer of 2010, he's going to have to move Jeffries or Eddy Curry -- if not both.

It's easy to see what the Wizards are up to. They're on pace to be a tax-paying team next season, and with a veteran core led by Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, they don't need to use scarce resources to pay a young player who doesn't wow them. Most draft observers concur that there's not much separation among the players available after the second pick. The Knicks? They're the one team in the top 10 with an inclination to trade up, with most of the buzz centering on their interest in Stephen Curry and Ricky Rubio. Jrue Holiday is back in New York Monday for a second workout, which could either be a sign that the Knicks are interested or simply that they want to make sure they're not interested. Either way, if the Knicks can move up a few spots to get a player they like and shed 2010 salary at the same time, it would be an unmitigated success -- something that's quite foreign to Knicks fans, on draft night or any other night, really.

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Speaking of point guards, the one thing you can say about this draft is that there are a lot of point guards. The Timberwolves worked out six of them Friday: Jonny Flynn, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Jeff Teague. The workout was closed to the media, but ah, in the age of the blogger, nothing is closed to the media anymore. Season ticket holders were invited to watch, and one such fan who reads the TrueHoop blog filed a report on the workout, which was posted online. Good info here, depending on what degree of trust you have in season ticket holder Michael Stephenson's talent-evaluation abilities. Among other observations, Stephenson wrote that Evans dominated the workout.
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com