Morning Shootaround — Feb. 27


VIDEO: The Daily Zap for games played Feb. 26

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Report: Bucks buyout Butler | Reports: Clips in lead for Granger | Report: Grizz add Udrih | Celtics resolve Rondo dispute | Pelicans’ Davis injured vs. Mavs

No. 1: Report: Bucks buyout Butler; Thunder favorites to sign him — As of yesterday, there were rumblings that the Bucks would soon be buying out the contract of veteran small forward Caron Butler as Milwaukee continues its rebuilding process. Per Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Butler has received his buyout and will soon be able to potentially sign with a playoff-bound team in a few days:

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat have emerged as frontrunners to sign forward Caron Butler, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

After securing a contract buyout from the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday morning, Butler is expected to clear waivers and become a free agent.

San Antonio and Chicago are in pursuit and plan to make pitches for Butler too, league sources said.

The fact that Oklahoma City stopped pursuing Danny Granger has led many in the NBA to believe the Thunder are confident in their recruitment of Butler.

The acquisition of Butler could be a tremendous boost to the Thunder and Heat’s pursuit of an NBA championship. Despite initial reports that Butler was destined to sign with Miami, Oklahoma City has a strong chance to land Butler, sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Heat are competing to lure Butler back to where his career started as the 10th overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft, but the ability to fill the gap as a complementary scorer to Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook has made the Thunder an attractive destination, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

***

UPDATE, 1:19 p.m. ET: Granger is reportedly having phone conversations with several of the teams pursuing him, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.

No. 2: Reports: Clippers favorites to add Granger — The portion of Danny Granger‘s career with the Philadelphia 76ers lasted all of roughly six days before he and the team came to an agreement on a buyout deal of his contract yesterday. As our David Aldridge reported first, several teams — including the Heat, Mavs, Clippers, Rockets and Bulls — are interested in adding the former All-Star, but it appears the Los Angeles Clippers may have pulled ahead of the pack. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski has more on L.A.’s interest:

The Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as the frontrunners to sign forward Danny Granger, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Once Granger clears waivers in the next 48 hours, the Clippers’ ability to offer him significant playing time and championship contention under coach Doc Rivers makes them the most attractive destination, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Still, the San Antonio Spurs remain a viable possibility for Granger, league sources said. The Spurs are selling Granger on a modern-day variation of the Robert Horry role in San Antonio, league sources said. Granger is expected to speak with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford in the near future, sources said.

Beyond the Clippers and Spurs, the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks have shown an inclination to pursue Granger and are expected to have conversations with him, league sources said.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelbourne report that Clippers officials met with Granger’s representatives during last night’s Clippers-Rockets game in L.A.:

The Clippers are widely regarded as the team best positioned to provide Granger the playing time and the championship contention he craves.

And they’ve stepped up their pursuit of the former All-Star, sources told ESPN.com, at least partly due to growing concern within the organization about the status of guard J.J. Redick, who has missed the past nine games and is out indefinitely with a back injury.

To potentially further increase L.A.’s need for another front-line player at the wing positions, Jamal Crawford left Wednesday’s win over the Rockets with a calf injury. Crawford has been starting in place of Redick and has played a huge part — alongside star forward Blake Griffin – in keeping the Clippers among the West’s top four teams while star guard Chris Paul was out with a separated shoulder.

The Clippers, at the behest of coach Doc Rivers, have already made multiple in-season signings, including Stephen Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu and Sasha Vujacic, to try to spruce up his perimeter rotation.

Rivers quickly confirmed his team’s interest in Granger before Wednesday’s victory, saying “Of course!” when asked if L.A. would like to sign him, but then added: “That’ll be up to Danny.”

Sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday that Granger, after playing in Indiana for the first nine seasons of career, is determined to hear out all of his suitors before making a commitment, with the other two teams in Texas – Houston and Dallas – also trying to wedge their way into contention alongside the Clippers and Spurs by registering bids of their own.

But sources also indicate that Granger is likely to verbally commit to a team before he formally clears waivers Friday at 5 p.m. ET and becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Sources say teams interested in Granger have been consistently told in recent days that the free agent-to-be — if he were to surrender his Bird rights by securing his release from the Sixers — would be looking for a new team that could offer not only a shot at a championship but also guaranteed playing time.


VIDEO: Doc Rivers talks about Danny Granger (fast-forward to the 7:40 mark)

***

No. 3: Report: Grizz pick up ex-Knicks guard Udrih — The Memphis Grizzlies suffered an injury scare to starting point guard Mike Conley before the All-Star break. Thankfully, rookie Nick Calathes stepped in admirably and kept the team afloat in Conley’s absence. Conley is now back and starting again, but Memphis made a move to further shore up their point guard corps, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com, but adding recently waived Knicks point guard Beno Udrih:

The Memphis Grizzlies have claimed veteran point guard Beno Udrih off waivers, ESPN.com has learned.

Sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday that the Grizzlies put in a successful waiver claim to acquire Udrih, who was released Monday by the New York Knicks.

The Grizzlies, sources said, turned their attention to acquiring Udrih for their backcourt after attempts to strike a deal with Jimmer Fredette – who is about to secure his release from the Sacramento Kings via buyout — proved unsuccessful.

Sources say veteran forward Metta World Peace, who was also waived Monday after he and Udrih negotiated buyouts with New York, cleared waivers Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET and is now an unrestricted free agent.

***

No. 4: Celtics pass on talking with Rondo about absence — The last few days or so in Boston, the drama (if you even want to call it that) with the Celtics has been about point guard Rajon Rondo‘s unexcused absence from Boston’s game in Sacramento last week. The first response to the issue by Celtics president Danny Ainge was to say a discussion with Rondo would definitely take place. Then, yesterday, Ainge said a discussion with Rondo would take at some place in the future. Now, according to ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg, Boston has handled the matter internally and it is a dead issue:

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he’s talked with point guard Rajon Rondo about the player’s decision to not accompany the team to Sacramento last week, but said the team is handling the matter internally and Stevens stressed his goal is to simply move forward.

With the Celtics playing the second night of a back-to-back on Saturday, Rondo was not scheduled to play against the Kings as he eases his way back from ACL surgery. But rather than fly with the team, he remained in Los Angeles where the Boston Herald reported that he celebrated his 28th birthday with family and friends.

Rondo, who Stevens said informed of his decision to stay behind before the team departed, rejoined the Celtics in Utah and played in Monday’s game against the Jazz.

“We’ve sat down and talked. We did that Monday,” said Stevens. “In my mind, I’m moving forward. Then when [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] gets back in town, they can meet and go from there.”

Stevens was asked if he thought Rondo should have accompanied the team to Sacramento.

“I think the biggest thing right now is for me to move forward and for us to move forward from that,” said Stevens. “Obviously, it’s something that is a great question to ask, something that I’ve certainly spent a lot of time thinking about. But at the end of the day, I’ve passed that point.”

For his part, Rondo downplayed the incident after Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, suggesting it was being overblown in the media.

“I haven’t really read much about it. I heard a lot of comments,” said Rondo. “Nobody knows the story, so [the media can] keep making up every story you guys possibly can.”

So what is the story?

“It’s my business,” said Rondo. “It’s my choice.”

***

No. 5: Banged-up Pelicans see All-Star Davis get injured — New Orleans’ season has hardly gone how it thought it would after an offseason roster upgrade and a nickname change. Injuries have wreaked havoc on the Pelicans with Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans all missing significant chunks of the season with injuries. Things got worse for New Orleans last night in Dallas as All-Star big man Anthony Davis hurt his shoulder and left the game. Our Jeff Caplan has more on the Pels’ injury woes:

New Orleans’ dreadful injury situation worsened Wednesday night with All-Star forward Anthony Davis spraining his left shoulder in the second quarter at Dallas, the first leg of a five-game road trip.

Pelicans coach Monty Williams said he didn’t ”know much right now” regarding the severity of Davis’ injury, but it was bad enough to keep him out of the remainder of New Orleans’ fifth consecutive loss, 108-89, to the red-hot Mavericks. When Davis left with 4:13 to go, Dallas led by one, 37-36, and had just made a run to dig out of a 28-20 hole.

Davis played just 12 minutes, 37 seconds and exited with six points, nine rebounds, two blocks and one sweet bounce pass to a streaking Eric Gordon for a layup. Davis hurt himself when he jumped straight up and extended his arms attempting to rebound his own miss against Mavs center Sam Dalembert. Even on replay it’s difficult to discern exactly how the injury occurred, but Davis quickly grabbed the upper part of his left arm, squeezing it as if trying to pinch away the pain.

He attempted to stay in the game, but less than a minute later checked out and headed to the locker room. He returned to the bench during the third quarter with his left arm appearing to be immobilized underneath his warmup jersey. He did not speak to the media after the game.

Davis’ name now moves next to point guard Jrue Holiday, sixth man Ryan Anderson and center Jason Smith on the injured list. Those are four of the Pelicans’ top six scorers. The latter three could all be done for the year. New Orleans can only hope that’s not the case for their 20-year-old face of the franchise who is having a marvelous sophomore season averaging 20.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg and leading the league as the lone player topping 3.0 bpg (3.02). Still, at 23-34 and 10 games out of the final playoff spot, the Pelicans won’t rush their star back until he’s ready.

“That’s life,” Williams said shaking his head earlier in the day as he discussed his team’s crippling injury plight that has robbed it of a playoff chase. Four months ago, that was the goal.


VIDEO: Anthony Davis suffers shoulder injury vs. Mavericks

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: ICYMI, the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili had his foot rip completely through his shoe mid-game last night … Portland’s bench came through with a big effort in last night’s win over the Nets … Might the Cavs have some interest in signing Jimmer Fredette once he gets waived by the Kings? … Diante Garrett — not the Suns’ Goran Dragic or Jazz rookie Trey Burke — was the standout point guard in last night’s Suns-Jazz game … The Magic are reportedly looking for their own NBA D-League team to run

ICYMI(s) of The Night: Two words for you — Gerald Green. Now, do your part and hit the play buttons below …


VIDEO: Gerald Green puts down a nasty open-court flush


VIDEO: Gerald Green puts up a monster reverse dunk on the Jazz

46 Comments

  1. BULLSFAN says:

    Butler (Veteran Leader), Fredette (49% 3pt boomer) and Granger (Legit Scorer). They all should go to the Bulls

  2. Laker2015 says:

    Clippers are trying everything but can never be a contender.

  3. cp3 finatic! says:

    i think that granger lands to clips and dudley will get bumped so will matt barnes and granger will have a title shot and will start…. LA will be his best decision if he goes to miami he wont get alot of playing time neither will houston or okc

  4. Melo says:

    Go to LA Lakers Granger and see you there next year!!

  5. jason h says:

    I really wish the mavericks would go after butler they could use a tough guy like that I believe with the talent they have right now he would make them a real contender and given he is a former maverick it would be a comfortable place for him to spend his season and they will have the cap roomto resign him in the off season if things work out and I believe that they would

  6. how i wish danny granger will join with the miami heat and if that’d happen he’ll obviusly gonna meet the pacers in ECF

  7. SASpurs says:

    The Spurs just need more athletic team, cause in IQ they are the best.

    The Spurs every season is in the first three teams.

    5 seg away to beat the heat to win our 5 title, but the the Heat was very lucky at the end (JUST LUCKY)

  8. WIVER SAINT-VIL says:

    I think the heat is the best place for Granger to go, with him in the floo start or bench the heat will repeat .

  9. dustydreamnz says:

    I think the Cavaliers will make playoffs, they’re looking really good.

  10. dustydreamnz says:

    I got $10.00 from my bookie yesterday for the Cavs! Was their 6th win from last 9 I think, OKC’s 3rd loss in a row at home. I hope the Cavs sign Fredette.
    Like ZG says the Heat also seem to want every free agent, I know LBJ takes a pay cut but they must be over the cap surely?
    The Grizz don’t need Udrih, Calathes has been solid.
    Rondo would get away with eating someone else’s birthday cake.
    The Pels were done ages ago but they’ve been playing with heart. The last thing I wanted to see was ‘The Brow’ getting injured. If they’re healthy next year they have a good shot at the playoffs.

  11. Armin says:

    butler and granger both would have a great chance for a ring in miami and okc, but both are small forwards and lebron and kd are their starters, so if they rather want to start then to win a ring, they should go to another team.

  12. Brian says:

    Come to Minnesota

  13. TTKIN says:

    I agree with Jason. I knew it would be a mistake to have Westbrook’s first game be against the Heat. Why would u alter ur team’s play against the defending champs? They shoulda brought him back against ORL, or MIL, or LAL (u catch my drift).

    Now he’s back and all the momentum they garnered has completely disappeared. They cant even win in their own building now. I understand bringing him back, we knew he wouldnt be out for the season. But can someone please tell me why he is starting over Reggie Jackson? Jackson has played better alongside Durant than Westbrook has.

  14. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    everyone was talking about Del Negro being a bad coach, but look at how many players Doc added and still thinks he needs more to get to that next level. i love Doc, but honestly if you’re gonna take all available players then it’s not really a coaching change they needed.

    • everyone else says:

      isn’t that like how some of the heat fans keep saying thier team is unstoppable yet feel that their team still needs all these coveted free agents so the they can three-peat?

    • justsayin says:

      Sure – its just a coincidence that Blake and DJ have taken their play to another level this year.

    • skrutz says:

      You are dumb. Doc is clearly WAY better, and he’s been searching for the right fit for the team. What happens when you sign a guy for 10 days and he doesnt work out? You try someone else. Big Baby was a great steal, and Doc doesn’t have to do much experimenting to know how he fits in. And Granger, if they get him – obviously better than Vujecic and Jackson.

  15. Josh says:

    I think Caron Butler is a good fit for OKC. Although Kevin Durant will play major minutes at the small forward, Butler adds the extra scoring option that OKC have been looking for since Kevin Martin left. Hopefully he will head to Oklahoma City to add an extra boost to this rolling team right now.

  16. Elijah 41 says:

    trade westbrook to boston in exchange for rondo..

  17. bryan says:

    As much as i think the spurs could use him in certain situations, im glad to see the spurs say hey this will be your role and u must earn playing time. Clips are promising him starters minutes . Doc ismaking a huge mistake. Oh well spurs will knock them out AGAIN in the 2nd round

    • skrutz says:

      Granger is a mistake over Barnes and Dudley? Even if he takes up space, he’ll still be more useful than Dudley.

  18. danny Grunger says:

    Danny granger go to the spurs if you want a title shot !
    the clippers are still short and are progressing slow (but there is progress)
    (or you can go to the heat to play with norris “GolDen” cole to build a legacy, the ColeGoat legacy)

  19. ilikewaffles says:

    Granger needs to go to the spurs! He’ll be great with popavich. Clippers are phonies anyways for real chance to win

  20. BluesGypsy says:

    Granger can start or get lotsa playing time with ‘da Clipps BOTH at SF or SG- definitely the best situation for him !!!

  21. Mo d says:

    Lakers starting lineup next season
    Pg rondo
    Sg butler
    Sf melo
    Pf love
    C asik already kno w

    • Andrew says:

      rondo/love/melo to the lakers? you dont watch much basketball huh?

    • Common Sense says:

      You forgot Michael Jordan at SG and Kareem Abdul Jabbar at C. And Lebron James was going to be coaching.
      You are hilarious! By the way, where’s Kobe? Is he now a Knick, a Wolf or a Celtic?

  22. siralfredson says:

    Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

  23. Jason says:

    Butler should go to the Spurs or the Heat and forget about OKC. Now that Westbrook is back the indiscipline has come back. Westbrook is a self first player and as was the discussions a few years ago, I believe OKC is better without him. People will say that they needed him last year in the playoffs, but forget that he went down in the middle of the playoffs and it would have been difficult to adjust your playing style on the fly to accommodate his absence. They figured it out this year and Ibaka vastly improves along with Lamb, Jones and their backup PG. Westbrook’s return has ended their chemistry and sharing on offense and they will go no where, in fact Butler may never see the ball.

    • Knowz says:

      I completely agree with this comment, I enjoyed the month K.D was pullin close to 40 a game. The Thunder had better chemistry without

    • OKC says:

      Ya cuz having 20.9 points 5.8 rebounds and 6.8 points this season after having 3 surgeries in one year does not help a team win smh. People forget that the first loss with westbrook back was to the reigning champs, and the 2 after were without perkins, which didnt help the lack of chemistry either. OKC can go far without westbrook but they will never win a title without him.

  24. Bird33 says:

    I hope so – would be interesting if the Clips came out of the west to meet the Pacers (sorry Heat fans – not this year or maybe next :-).

    Go Doc! Go Larry! Two great teams – would love to see them in the Finals but would be tough to decide who to cheer for. May have to give the nod to the Basketball Jesus so he can complete his basketball masterpiece – a championship for Indiana. I don’t think there’s much more he can succeed at – he’s won nearly every award possible from player to coach to Exec.

    As Bill S would say – he’s a basketball savant :-)

    • ocruzg7 says:

      Seriously? I appreciate the devotion to Larry Legend but no way the Pacers get past the Heat this year. The Pacers are still offensively challenged, if you slow down PG eventually they cave in. Although the Pacers are a great defensive team the Heat can match that, this is not just an opinion they’ve proved it the last 2 years. Offensively the Heat are a superior team with more options. Better hope Lebron opts out this year.

    • justsayin says:

      Well said Bird33.

  25. ww says:

    clips is probaly the only team where granger has a shot at starting.

    • JayNilly says:

      stop lol he would be a great wingman for anyone.

    • chico says:

      Clips is the only thing where Granger has a shot on starting, yes! but Miami is the only team where Granger has a shot on a ring!

    • Jean Luke says:

      I don’t think that Danny will start in any playoff-bound team, or should he. He still needs to get 100% (or as close as he can get) healthy, and then wait until time and coaching makes him a practical peace to put in a starting lineup. OKC, SA, MI and LA, are teams that, even with their minor changes (specially MI and LA due to injured starters), have already created the chemistry needed to not just appear in the playoffs, but to make a serious push in the title run. Maybe when Granger becomes more consistent, health wise, and gains more experience with the team that will eventually sign him, he can bump someone from the starting lineup. IMHO.

      • justsayin says:

        I’m pretty sure he can bump Barnes and Dudley the moment he signs. Mins will ramp up as he goes.

  26. okc2014 says:

    The Magic are looking into their own D-League team? I thought they were a D-League team already? LOL.

  27. zg says:

    Whats with the salary cap on clippers, how much do they have left? they are like signing every guy who becomes a free agent lol