Morning Shootaround — May 19



VIDEO: Daily Zap for games played May 18

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Celtics, Knicks getting into Love mix? | Bulls negotiating Mirotic buyout | Spurs don’t think Ibaka will miss series | Report: Knicks want to talk with Fisher first | Bosh disappears in Game 1

No. 1: Celtics leading pack for Love? — Just yesterday, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that Minnesota Timberwolves might be getting used to the idea that Kevin Love might not want to stick around after the 2014-15 season and exercise his early termination option. Once that bit of information came to the NBA forefront, the knowledge of which suitors are most after Love has become more and more known. According to Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics might present an appetizing deal to the Wolves and as the New York Post‘s Marc Berman reports, new Knicks boss Phil Jackson could be plotting for a way to bring Love to New York.

The Boston Celtics have emerged as an increasingly intriguing destination for Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love, and the Celtics’ draft position coming out of Tuesday night’s lottery could be telltale in determining the feasibility of a trade, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

If the lottery percentages hold to form, Boston would draft in the No. 5 slot, which could hold appeal to Minnesota in this talent-rich draft. If Boston moves up and cracks one of the top three spots, general manager Danny Ainge would have a more difficult decision to make on using the pick in a deal for Love.

Love’s representatives with Excel Sports are pushing Timberwolves president Flip Saunders to find a trade acceptable to them before the beginning of summer free agency in July – preferably by the June 26 NBA draft, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Love, 25, wants a chance to play for an immediate contender, but has an open mind about multiple destinations in the league, sources said. In six NBA seasons, Love has yet to reach the playoffs in Minnesota.

The Houston Rockets also plan to make a run at a trade for Love, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Officials believe Love’s close relationship and respect for coach Kevin McHale could give the Rockets an edge. Golden State, Phoenix, the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago are among those also planning to pursue Love deals with an eye on signing him to a long-term extension.

Love has no veto power over a trade, but it is unlikely any team will unload significant assets for him without an assurance he’ll re-sign a max contract.

Houston doesn’t have the draft picks to offer Minnesota, but does have appealing young players in Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik to include in packages. McHale acquired Love for the T’wolves with a draft-night trade and coached him. Beyond McHale, Houston could offer Love an immediate chance to be part of a contender.

Love’s agent Jeff Schwartz and Ainge have a strong relationship and a good working history. Ainge helped another Schwartz client, Paul Pierce, get to a preferred trade destination in Brooklyn a year ago. The Celtics believe they can sell Love on becoming the next big Celtics star, and all the adulation that comes with that for a franchise that has won 17 NBA championships.

And here’s Berman’s report on how the Knicks are getting into the Love sweepstakes, too

According to an NBA source, Knicks president Phil Jackson has been plotting to be involved in making something happen with Love via a trade.

However, the report stated rather than the Lakers and the Knicks being Love’s top two choices, the power forward is more interested in Golden State and Chicago. It’s unclear if Steve Kerr knew Love’s preference when he chose to coach the Warriors, but it’s very possible.

Adding Love to the Knicks’ mix with their 2015 cap space is one of the selling points for Anthony to stay in New York. It’s doubtful a team would trade Love for just a rental. Another source said the Lakers also will make a monster push at trading for Love, who played at UCLA.

The Knicks believe they have the expiring contracts — Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert in particular — the Wolves might want so Minnesota can keep cap space to go after the star-studded 2015 free agent class.

What do they Wolves have to say about all this chatter? Team owner Glen Taylor told Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune that Minnesota has no plans to deal Love anytime soon:

Amid renewed media reports that three-time All-Star Kevin Love intends to leave Minnesota in July 2015 and the Timberwolves are reconsidering their position, Wolves owner Glen Taylor reiterated on Sunday the team doesn’t intend to soon trade him.

The Associated Press, citing two unnamed sources, reported Sunday that, with Tuesday’s draft lottery and the June 26 draft approaching, the Wolves are softening their position that they won’t trade Love and are open to the idea of doing so for the right deal.

“Not by the draft,” Taylor said before Sunday’s Lynx home opener at Target Center about such a possibility.

Saunders told WCCO Radio on Sunday morning that he hasn’t talked to Love’s representatives since the season ended in mid-April.

“We’re proceeding the same way, that Kevin is part of our team, that we have,” Saunders told WCCO. “You’re always trying to get your team better. There have been reports we’re actively trying to trade him, which isn’t true. What we’re actively trying to do is get our team better. When you do that, you look to see what’s out there no matter what it is or for anybody. We’re a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 10 years. We’ve got to get better.”

***

No. 2: Bulls to start talking Mirotic buyout — Back in the 2011 Draft, the Chicago Bulls picked up the rights to Spanish league star Nikola Mirotic from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the 28th pick (which became current Heat guard Norris Cole) and the 43rd pick (former Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malcolm Lee). The Bulls kept tabs on Mirotic as his game progressed overseas with the hopes they could buy him out in the future and add him to a young core that includes former MVP Derrick Rose and All-Star Joakim Noah. It appears that buyout date is nearing, writes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Mirotic, the Bulls’ 2011 draft-day acquisition, is widely considered the best international prospect not in the NBA. Though he finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, he struggled defensively throughout the final and to finish at the rim occasionally.

The Bulls will begin negotiations for the first time this offseason with Mirotic, who has a buyout this summer. Though Real Madrid made noise about possibly signing Mirotic to an extension beyond the one year remaining on his deal, that could contain an out clause should Mirotic opt for the NBA.

“We have built a relationship with him,” general manager Gar Forman said at last week’s NBA draft combine. “We feel confident he will come over at some point. Whether that’s this summer or next, we don’t know.”


VIDEO: Highlights from Nikola Mirotic’s play overseas

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No. 3: Spurs don’t think Ibaka will miss all of West finals — The Oklahoma City Thunder have designs on making their first NBA Finals since the 2011-12 season, but doing so will require beating the San Antonio Spurs in the West finals without power forward Serge Ibaka. News came out Friday that Ibaka will miss at least the West finals as he recovers from a Grade 2 strain of his left calf. That loss would seem to make the road easier for the Spurs, but the players aren’t buying that Ibaka will miss the series, writes Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News:

Oklahoma City announced on Friday that forward Serge Ibaka, one of the NBA’s best shot blockers and defensive anchors, will miss the remainder of the playoffs with a calf strain.

The Thunder followed that up by telling the media on Sunday that Ibaka would not travel with the team on their flight to San Antonio in advance of the Western Conference Finals, which begin Monday.

And still, the Spurs remain skeptical to the point of paranoia.

“I don’t really believe it,” said point guard Tony Parker, who has been cleared to play in the opener after straining his left hamstring in the second round. “I’ll believe when I see tomorrow he is not on the court. It’s hard to believe. We’ll see tomorrow.”

Said Kawhi Leonard, “We’re still not sure if he’s going to play or not, but it doesn’t matter. The Thunder are still a very good team.”

Given yet another opportunity to collect their fifth championship, the Spurs aren’t about to let their guard down in the absence of a player in Ibaka who jammed up their precision-based offense almost by himself as the Thunder won the regular-season series 4-0.

The sweep extended Oklahoma City’s run of success against the Spurs to 10-2 dating back to the last postseason meeting, when the Thunder rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win 4-2. Ibaka played in all 12 of those meetings, and almost always well with at least three blocks in nine, and double-doubles in six of the past seven.

The Spurs have no doubt considered every possible contingency in how the Thunder might adjust without him — including, it seems, the extreme unlikelihood that he might actually play. (Again, appropriate fear.) Not that coach Gregg Popovich would ever admit to such planning to the media.  

“It’s really a waste of time,” Popovich said. “When the game starts, everybody will know what’s going on and everybody will adjust both ways.”


VIDEO: GameTime’s crew breaks down how Ibaka’s injury affects the Thunder

***

No. 4: Report: Knicks want to talk with Fisher; Dunleavy, Shaw also on list — The Knicks continue to search for their next coach and, as you’d expect, some familiar and big names continue to be attached to the rumors as to who will get the gig next. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne report that the team is interested in talking to Derek Fisher, Oklahoma City’s backup point guard and a former L.A. Lakers player under new Knicks boss Phil Jackson when both were in California. As well as the interest in Fisher, ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard reports that the team has former NBA coach Mike Dunleavy on its short list, too:

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson continues to send out signals that he’s in no rush to hire a coach until he can seriously discuss the position with Oklahoma City’s Derek Fisher, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com on Sunday that Jackson is planning to proceed with a deliberate coaching search after the Knicks, convinced they were getting Steve Kerr, watched their runaway No. 1 candidate choose the Golden State Warriors instead.

Fisher’s interest in coaching remains a matter of debate, with Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks telling the New York Daily News over the weekend that it wouldn’t surprise him if the 18-year-veteran decided to play on for one more season. Either way, Fisher is trying to deflect all questions about his future — as a coach or front-office executive — until after the playoffs, hoping to limit distractions as the Thunder prepare to face the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals starting Monday night.

Sources say that in addition to Fisher, the Knicks still have interest in Denver Nuggets coach Brian Shaw but do not currently plan to ask the Nuggets’ permission to speak with him. Because league rules restrict teams to offering only cash or draft picks as compensation for coaches, and not players, sources say New York fears it likely can’t meet the Nuggets’ demands if it were to try to get Shaw out of his contract.

Jackson’s preference since ousting Mike Woodson has been hiring a coach he’s worked with in the past, either as a player or a former assistant like Shaw. But sources say that the limited options at his disposal after missing out on Kerr could prompt the 11-time champion coach to start broadening his approach.

 

ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard reported over the weekend that Jackson has discussed the vacancy with veteran NBA coach Mike Dunleavy. Sources say Jackson has not ruled out a sit-down with Knicks fan favorite Mark Jackson, who has rejoined ESPN as a broadcaster after his dismissal by the Warriors.

***

No. 5: Bosh disappears in Game 1 lossChris Bosh‘s final stat line in Game 1 of the East finals read as follows: nine points (on 4-for-12 shooting), 0-for-5 on 3-pointers, four assists, two rebounds and a minus-16 overall. Not exactly what the Heat were hoping for from their All-Star forward and as our John Schuhmann details, his horrible game was a large reason why Miami finds itself in a 1-0 hold against Indiana:

The Pacers have not been a great team over the last few months. But they survived the first two rounds and seem to bring their best against the Heat, in part because they match up well. The Pacers have the size to punish the champs inside. The key is to just get their bigs the ball in position to score.

That happened early and often in Game 1. Though the Heat outscored the Pacers 54-38 in the paint, Indiana attempted 22 more free throws. They scored 107 points on just 88 possessions, by far their best offensive performance of the postseason.

“Our defense was unacceptable,” Bosh said afterward. “They got everything that they wanted and we need to fix that.”

Miami suffered breakdowns all over the place. Bosh was certainly not the only guilty party. But as one of the Heat’s primary defenders on pick-and-rolls, it’s his job to set the tone defensively. When the Miami defense is at its best, Bosh’s activity is the biggest reason.

Not only was he a step slow in recovering to the Indiana bigs on Sunday, but they often outmuscled him in the paint. Bosh defended Roy Hibbert (5-for-13) in the post well enough, but his weak-side help on David West‘s rolls left something to be desired.

As a roll man, West usually has to try to beat the Heat from mid-range. In the regular season, 21 of his 47 shots against Miami were from outside the paint. But on Sunday, nine of his 11 shots came from inside the paint.

Bosh didn’t meet West far enough from the basket, giving the Pacers’ power forward too many quick and easy looks. West capped his afternoon by pump-faking Bosh out of his shorts and strolling by him for an easy dunk to put the Pacers up 16 with less than three minutes to go.

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Might the Cavs be looking to move big men Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao this summer? … Pacers coach Frank Vogel expects Evan Turner (strep throat) to be OK for Game 2 … After getting out to a 1-0 start in the East finals, the Pacers’ locker room had a pretty chill tone to it

ICYMI of the night: Even though the Heat fell in Game 1 of the East finals yesterday, this was a pretty amazing and-one 3-pointer from LeBron James late in the game … 


VIDEO: LeBron James takes the hit and still nails the 3-pointer in Game 1

41 Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    Celtics, Knicks, Houston, etc. This article gives no insight into who has the edge in landing Kevin Love. What is the point of the media these days?

    • TTKIN says:

      Honestly I don’t think anyone does have an edge. The last like 2-3 years, whenever a big name player becomes available, it’s always the same teams they mention. HOU, LA, NY, BOS. It’s always the same. Just ignore sporting news til something actually happens. If u dont, ur day is going to be full of rumors that mean nothing.

  2. I wish the Heat will win

  3. okcDoke2014 says:

    Pacers win and Spurs win tonight and game two tomorrow is going to be great. Can Pacers and go up 2-0

  4. Léon says:

    Yes! The Celtics can take another Kevin from the Timberwolves!

  5. BullsFAN says:

    I wanna see this lineup for the bulls next season:

    PG- Derrick Rose ( THE MVP- i want him 200% healthy for next season)
    SG- Jimmy Butler ( his defense is superb)
    SF- Carmelo Anthony (the bulls are pursuing for Anthony and for sure he will be a good fit for the bulls.)
    PF- Taj Gibson ( Trade the lowly Boozer and it’s the year that Taj will start)
    C- Joakim Noah ( ENERGY GUY/ DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDEE)

    Key Players:

    Mike Dunleavy
    Nikola Mirotic
    Kirk Hinrich
    Dj Augustin

    • George says:

      Bulls probably will use the amnesty clause for Boozer.
      They’ll try to bring Mirotic this year.
      Carmelo is the big target, and a huge boost for the championship.
      But DJ Augustin is not the right guy behind Rose… Not even Hinrich.
      I prefer Jose calderon, who is an excellent playmaker and he can bring calmness on the flour when its needed, in contrary with the quick tempo of Rose.
      And last, there’s also Ronnie Brewer on the roster, and we’ll have to see what Bulls will do with him, cause they need a player in this position and Snell is not ready yet…

  6. Miami says:

    If Kevin Love wants to win a Chapionship, he should takes his talents to South Beach. Allow Bosh to opt out this summer and now the new big three lineup would be: Mario Chalmbers; Dwayne Wade; Lebron james; Kevin Love; Chris Anderson.

    • Jeff says:

      Cant sit on my chair Im laughing so hard. You need Love to get plenty of ball but he would be fighting with Wade and LeBron (who is going back to Cleveland to right some wrongs anyway) for touches. If they lose to Indiana, the big 3 is over. Either way they cant beat the Spurs or Thunder. My guess is the big 3 will disperse, wouldnt be surprised if Bosh signs short term with Chicago while they wait for Mirotic. Wade might stay, but LeBron he will go Cleveland or if his ego can handle it LA.

  7. E1961 says:

    Given preference, not sure why KL would choose anyone over GS or HOU. Lakers ( nothing when KB retires), Knick (REAL week w/o CA), and Celtics (too many wholes) are all flawed. Best fit is HOU. With KL, HOU has traditional 3,4 & 5. Better bench with TJones, and they keep Asik, It will cost them Parsons, but who wouldn’t trade JLin and Parsons for KL?

    • jonny11 says:

      Heh you forgot a young suns… whom without injuries WILL be in the playoffs next year… i dont think you watch enough basketball….maybe one team and alot of headlines…. the suns will contend next year, with or without love and thats a fact. Plus 4 draft picks and two great morris twins… and archie goodwin.. and damn… they also have ecpiring contracts in channing frye and ish smith… lol… if he dont come to the suns… he will be getting beat by them next year… all season long..

  8. Lucas says:

    So much respect to Chris Bosh, but man oh man, be smart CB your long field goals are not falling in try to do another thing aside from shooting treys and perimeter shots, come on CB you have the height and body use them efficiently. Play smart, Where are those moves while you were with the Raptors? Where are those post up, spin and fake moves that you have been doing before? If your treys are not falling in for the 3rd or 4th attempt i think thats the time to play smart basketball, go straight and make strong moves man.

    • ncsportsman says:

      He has to shoot those perimeter shots because he has spolestra making those plays for him as he has to stay behind the ark to cater to setting screens for lebron and wade. Bosh is way better than what that moron of a coach draws up plays for him.

  9. Erik says:

    Just get rid of Boozer already.. Mirotic looks great. What a shot for a guy that size. Like someone says, looks like a Nowitzki almost.

    • Jeff says:

      One way or another (amazed if they can trade him although he is a valuable expiring contract) Boozer will not be in Chicago. Im guessing he will be on the bench in Utah.

  10. Lucas says:

    So much respect to Chris Bosh, but man oh man, be smart CB your long field goals are not falling in try to do another thing aside from shooting treys and perimeter shots, come on CB you have the height, the body and the mind use the. Play smart, Where are those moves while you were with the Raptors? Where are those post up, spin and fake moves that you had been doing before? If you treys are bot falling in for the 3rd or 4th attempt i think thats the time to play smart basketball, go straight and make a strong move man.

    • mee(a)t says:

      Yes man. Watching the things he did in Toronto was amazing. It looked like he wasn’t afraid to go against the best bigs in the league. Now, he’s stuck shooting jumpers. I’m sure that Spo’s system changed his game but its infuriating watching a player like Bosh who’s capable of more to be stuck shooting jumpers. Why can’t he have at least more ISO plays…he will at least go to the line.

  11. Ross says:

    Chris Bosh is doing exactly what I want him to be; which is to lose game for Miami.. Go Pacers Go.. Its time for another Champ..

  12. joe dodson says:

    Paul George is Overrated

    • Jeff says:

      That may be true at the moment, but so many others are to. Be careful because people can awake from a slump. If the Pacers are to contend they will need him at his very best. They may beat Miami with him at 75% but no chance against the west at 75%.

  13. FUTURECELTIC says:

    I think K Love would be a good addition to the Celtics lineup especially since he plays the four and five, two of the three positions the C’s don’t have a good starter at. Also, GO PACERS!!!

  14. TheKush says:

    It’s a shame the Timberwolves owners don’t know how to build a franchise. They have a talent like Love and instead of just doing the OBVIOUS which is either getting rid of Rubio or aggressively going after a better starting point guard to replace Rubio they instead are looking for a way to get rid of one of the best players in the NBA.

    Some owners just don’t get it! The celtics for example have great owners is it a coincidence that they managed to surround pierce at the time with Ray Allen and Garnett? Why didn’t the Timberwolves think of bringing in Ray Allen and/or Paul Pierce to their franchise? Was it the money? Was Garnett not worth the investment? What was it? Garnett was one of the most loyal players in NBA history at the time people were begging Garnett to leave why??? Not because of the the city of Minnesota it was because of the owners of the timberwolves and their lack of vision. Look everyone is entitled to make mistakes however insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    When you have a player like Kevin Love there should be nothing that tells you that it’s time to go back to REBUILDING MODE! If they let Kevin Love go there needs to be some changes to Timberwolves MANAGEMENT! Every great player needs help. recent memory LBJ needed Wade, Jordan needed Pippen, Magic’s championship teams had a bunch of hall of famers, Birds teams had a bunch of hall of famers, Isaiah’s Pistons had a bunch of Hall of Famers, what is Minnesota management thinking? Basketball as much as we put emphasis on individual stars still is a team game and you can’t expect Kevin Love to lead a bunch of unproven injury prone players to the playoffs or to a championship.

  15. Bball fan says:

    Mirotic looks like a blend between Nowitzki and Scola…or at least that’s what I saw from the video. Bring him over and bye bye Boozer.

  16. daniel says:

    BOSH NEEDS TO WAKE UP ASAP. I WAS ANGRY THAT BOSH DECIDED NOT TO SHOW UP IN THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME OF THE HEAT SEASON. HOPEFULLY HE WILL SHOW UP, HE HAS TO SHOW UP IN GAME 2.

    • Game Time says:

      Or Spo needs to tell him to stop shooting 3pointers.

      • GREGORY INGRAM says:

        He doesnt tell that team what to do they tell him because hes a Puppet Coach and evryone knows that outside of Miami
        he has no coaching skills, it makes me sick when he’s mentioned with some of the NBA legened coach’s with the team he has he doesnt even have to show up and that team can still win, it would be intersting to see him Philly, New Orleans, Minnesota to see whats he is all about, I bet you he wouldnt break 500 with none of those teams his first year, and thats why he will never be Coach of the Year, because the NBA knows a Puppet Coach when they see one.

        v/r

        Greg

      • Jeff says:

        I agree not in the league of Doc, Pop, Phil or Thibs.

    • Jack says:

      Losing one game should not influence the confidence you have in your team and players, right? Pacer fans have had faith in their squad during a tough second half of the season and a terrifying first round.

    • GREGORY INGRAM says:

      dont worry the HEAT will dump him after the season and bribe another star player on another team to come play with them to keep stacking the deck to win tittles, without building a team, just continue to buy players not getting them the old fashion way EARNING THEM!!! I simply have no respect for that team or Pat Riley there is no integrity or honor about that team, GO PACERS GO!! I hope they sweep the HEAT! and for all Heat fans you would all go to a Super hero movie and cheer on the villian.

      v/r

      Greg

      • astar23 says:

        Greg you are just making yourself look like an idiot. Just stop.

      • Arì says:

        Dude that’s just how bball & most sports work in general…

      • Lolo KaPuRoy says:

        Another Miami Heat Haters. You don’t understand that NBA is a business. A good businessman will invest to the players that can help them win championship. And Spo? maybe he won’t win Coach of the year award but who cares? as long as he wins championship he will never care. And please stop whining okay? because you just look like a bitter stupid fan to me. hehehe. :P

    • artifex says:

      The most important game of their season is when the other team has 3 wins…
      I think the Heat don’t panic right now, they see what was missing in Game 1 and they’ll adjust to that.
      Though I would like the Pacers to progress (and think it’s possible) there’s no kidding the Heat will know what to do now.
      Still, great work by the Pacers. I didn’t expect that when they were down 1-0 against WSH…

    • ncsportsman says:

      Do you honestly think lebron is going to be in miami next year? he will opt out this year as most of the players on that team other than the big 3 are making chump change in the minimum pay and wont play too many years like that. Wade is on a decline as well so there is no reason for him to stay there…he will pick a team that is already another contender or team up with some other superstar that he cant beat, just like he did with the heat.

      As far as Bosh, he is underated, he is a great player who hardly has any plays made up for him other than sitting at the 3 point line setting screens for lebron and wade, hence why he is shooting 3’s. Get smart son and pay attention to what is really going on there in miami.

      Let me ask you this also, will you be a miami fan still yet if lebron leaves? or are you a bandwagoner? muuuuaaahhh

  17. Rope-a-Dope Pacers!!!!

    Seems that they fooled us all. When lots off ppl thought that they couldn’t handle it in the playoffs, they removed the smoke and showed us what they are about!

    Man what a performance. I never saw this Heat squad being dominated like that. Miami never stood a chance, NEVER!!

    Did someone say 3Peat?? I repeat: Rope-a-Dope Pacers!!! GOGOGOGOGO WOOT WOOT !!!

    • artifex says:

      Agree!
      I have to eat my words!!
      I thought they may fall to the Hawks in Rd 1 but they prevailed (not inspiringly at that point)
      I gave them no chance when they started 0-1 against the Wizards, who played really good ball.
      And then they broke out off all the problems and are 4-1 since then.
      They don’t have the series in their bag for sure. But for the first time in 6, 8, weeks I see them as contender again (and I think a lot of people agree).
      Well done!

      • artifex says:

        sorry, 5-1 since then, of course.

      • Jeff says:

        Need to be a lot better to beat the West, that is where the title is heading this year. Miami were dead lucky last year….Spurs had their chance and choked. Cant see either team from the west losing to Pacers or Heat.

  18. okcDoke2014 says:

    Game 2 will be interesting to see what adjustments Miami implements