Morning shootaround — July 17

VIDEO: Daily Zap for games played July 16


Report: Pistons, Kings still talking trade for Smith | Spoelstra: No ‘regrets’ over LeBron leaving | NBA may rethink Draft lottery | Taylor opens up on Love trade talk

No. 1: Report: Kings, Pistons re-open J-Smoove trade talks — A few days before the 2014 Draft, there was buzz that the Pistons had engaged in trade talks with the Sacramento Kings with forward Josh Smith being the top name shifting from one team to another. In the weeks since, there hasn’t been much chatter on that front … until now.’s Marc Stein reports that the teams have started talking about a J-Smoove swap once again:

The Detroit Pistons and the Sacramento Kings have resumed trade discussions on a deal that could send Josh Smith to Sacramento, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.

Sources told the Kings have continued to express interest in Smith and the parties are on the hunt for a third team that could help facilitate the deal.

As reported last month, Detroit and Sacramento have engaged in trade discussions that would potentially land Smith in the same frontcourt with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. Initial talks called for Sacramento to send Jason Thompson and either Derrick Williams or Jason Terry to the Pistons for Smith, but those discussions reached an impasse and were pushed into July along with the rest of both teams’ free-agent business, sources said.

Sources said the Pistons also seriously discussed various sign-and-trade scenarios this month that would have landed restricted free agent Greg Monroe in Portland, but the Blazers ultimately pulled themselves out of the race for Monroe by signing free-agent big man Chris Kaman to join Robin Lopez in the Blazers’ center rotation.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, furthermore, is known to be fond of splashy moves. And trading for Smith, given the lukewarm reviews of his first season with the Pistons, would certainly qualify as bold.

Another potential bonus is Smith’s close relationship with Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, whom Sacramento has been targeting in trade talks for some time.

The Kings, sources say, prefer to trade Terry rather than buy him out of the final year of his contract valued at nearly $6 million, while Terry has said he’s interested in a return to the Dallas Mavericks if he’s ultimately released and can get to free agency.

Relive some of Josh Smith’s best plays as a Piston last season


No. 2: Spoelstra has no ‘regrets’ about LeBron’s departure — As a member of the Miami Heat, LeBron James won his first two championships and raised the team to a level of success it had never previously enjoyed. His coach during that run, Erik Spoelstra, forged a solid relationship with the superstar over time, too. But now that James is back in Cleveland, Spoelstra told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel‘s Shandel Richardson that he doesn’t bemoan James’ decision and has only pleasant memories of their time together as coach and player.

Spoelstra, speaking after the Heat’s summer-league loss to the Washington Wizards, said he had no ill feelings toward James and his decision to bolt after four seasons in Miami.

“He seemed at peace with the decision,” Spoelstra said. “We don’t have any regrets. He shouldn’t have any regrets. It was a historic four-year run.”

“This league does teach you that it’s inevitable that there’s constant change and you always have to continue to embrace change, adapt with change,” Spoelstra said. “This is a big, monumental change that we didn’t necessarily anticipate but you have to respect it because when you’re a free agent in this league you have the right to make a decision that’s best for you and your family. When he made that decision that was best for his family, where his heart is, all you can do from our side is respond with respect and love.”


The Heat were in panic-mode for about “two or three” hours after the decision. Spoelstra met with team President Pat Riley and General Manager Andy Elisburg to discuss their options. He described it as a scene from the movie Jerry Maguire, with each making countless phone calls to agents and players on their cell phones.

“Probably, we were all in Pat’s office about five minutes just to collect ourselves and then from there it was madness,” Spoelstra said. “The board was right there. So we said we better get to work and we didn’t leave until after 1 in the morning.”

Spoelstra said he’s yet to speak with James. At some point, the two plan to talk once everything settles.

“I’m sure there will be a time for that,” Spoelstra said. “Again, you forge bonds through competitions and through great experiences like we’ve had. There will be a time for that. My message wouldn’t be any different whenever that time comes.”

Even though it was unexpected, the Heat handled the situation easier because of a backup plan. They met with all the new acquisitions before James’ announcement, needing just two days to agree to terms with Luol Deng.

“I didn’t really try to anticipate one way or another,” Spoelstra said. “Pat and I were flying around trying to meet with players as much as we could. Then when we came back, Pat and Andy were able to have a meeting [with James]. The meeting went well and then everything happened pretty quickly on Friday.”



No. 3: NBA considering changes to lottery — Much of the discussion in NBA circles last season — and especially as the Philadelphia 76ers went on a 27-game losing skid — was about whether or not “tanking” was harming the overall product of the league. Many theories have been bandied about to make it so the NBA Draft lottery didn’t reward blatantly awful teams too much, the foremost theory being a draft “wheel” notion. Our Scott Howard-Cooper reports on a story from’s Zach Lowe about the NBA perhaps evening out the Draft lottery odds more:

The NBA is weighing dramatic changes to the lottery intended to further deter tanking, reported Wednesday, noting the shift could take effect as soon as the 2015 drawing to determine the draft order.The proposal, different than the so-called Wheel plan that received attention early last season, calls for at least the four teams with the worst record in the league to have the same chance at landing No. 1 in the ping-pong drawing. While the odds are still open to revision from the current 11 percent, according to the Grantland story by Zach Lowe citing anonymous sources, the numbers would decrease beginning with the club with the fifth-worst finish.

The odds for the team with the best record among the lottery entrants would increase, though, a sign the league wants to give franchises scheduled to pick later a greater chance to jump to near the top on lottery night. The new terms under consideration call for a 2-percent chance to go from 14th to first, the report says, compared to .5 percent in the 2014 drawing.

The suggested plan also calls for the ping-pong balls to determine the order of the first six selections, a change from the process in place of the drawing for the top three, with teams then falling in order based on worst record.

League officials here for summer league and key meetings, including the Board of Governors gathering the day before, made it clear Wednesday that the new proposal is only in the discussion stages. The Competition Committee has not approved anything on the subject, a necessary step before it gets sent to the Board of Governors to be voted on, with the likelihood that whatever makes it out of committee would almost certainly be ratified by the Board.


No. 4: Wolves owner wants Love in Minnesota next season — The biggest name left in terms of player movement this summer isn’t a free agent. It’s a player under contract with his current team: Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love. The versatile big man has heard his name tossed about in trade talks seemingly since season’s end, but his team is truly under no real obligation to deal him. It’s that fact that Wolves owner Glen Taylor tried to get across to the NBA public and Timberwolves fans as he spoke with NBA TV yesterday at Summer League in Las Vegas:

VIDEO: Glen Taylor addresses the Kevin Love trade talks


SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: He’s not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but new Nets coach Lionel Hollins says the pace in Memphis is the ‘stone age’ when compared to New York … The Magic are finalizing a deal to bring Luke Ridnour aboardDonatas Motiejunas has been pretty impressive in Summer League thus far … Anthony Morrow is hoping to fill the Thunder’s long-held need for 3-point shootingLaMarcus Aldridge reportedly withdrew from USA Basketball consideration so he could rest upc some for the season … Cool, documentary-style series on Charlie Villanueva and his quest for another NBA contract. Here’s Part I, and here’s Part II

ICYMI of The Night: The Summer League Horry Scale is getting a workout! Two nights ago, Jordan Clarkson had a buzzer-beating, game-winning tip-in. Last night, Roberto Nelson does one better with an impossible, game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer for the Hornets

VIDEO: Roberto Nelson of the Hornets wins the game on a 3-pointer at the horn


  1. The Kings will be a 7th or 8th seed next year and will be the surprise of the league.

  2. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    gay cousins and smith all on one team? a fight will break out on the first day of training camp. they need a point guard.

  3. Sacramento trying hard to get them a ring…still not gonna happen…

  4. I personally think the bulls should of kept d.j augustin.he’s a great player and was just adjusting to the chemistry.

  5. b-nice says:

    Please don’t do it! Josh is terrible and I’m not a Kings fan.

  6. houston is gonna be a terrible team now by letting lin asik and parsons go…should’ve just traded them to the lakers and let gasol resign then instantly you have a championship caliber team

  7. Kenneth Williams says:

    I really think rockets made a huge mistake of letting Chandler parsons go that boy can play but they dont like white boys balling haha. I was hoping my kings would pick him up but maybe seasons later. No way rockets get home court IF they make the playoffs and Love should give Minnesota 1 more season I see them being good again maybe a 7 spot injuries hurt them last year or otherwise I think they would have been a playoff team

  8. Kenneth Williams says:

    Kings are restoring the pride that the Sacramento fans already have especially if we land Bledsoe and Smith with gay Boogieman Cousins and either stauskas or mcallum in the line up bit they gave up to quick on TRob coach smart and maloofs did but they were tanking the team on purpose anyway trading for salmons and giving thompson a max contract. Nba commentators are just as bad as bandwagon fans follow lebron that team is gona win it all when Washington just built a nice physical tough team that can score and play defense and Chicago with mcdermott added amd still have jimmer can both score wherever and whenever Washington or chicago easily one of the 2 wins the east even Miami is still a really solid team still with the free agents they picked up. As for the west its all up for grabs no easy win. Finally talent has spread evenly throughout the league now if officiating will allow defense to be played no more touch fouls or dog yelping fouls.

  9. vern says:

    IMO, They should do just like a lottery is supposed to do. Luck of the draw. All 30 teams with equal chances of drawing a number 1,2,3. A team in last place would have the same amount of balls in the basket as the team in first place. That would eliminate tanking. Knowing that tanking will give them no better odds should make a team play harder .

    • truth says:

      yea it would, but it would also make it almost IMPOSSIBLE for bad teams to get better, which is also bad for the game. Id rather have 16 teams with a chance come playoff time, than 5 super teams and 11 “good” teams with no real chance. Yes tanking is bad, but the worst teams still need to be given a chance to get better, and the only way is through the draft. since its nearly impossible for bad teams to sign free agents

      • nunya says:

        Usually Bad teams are bad teams because of terrible draft picks and bad decision making. look at cleveland. Anthony bennet? Are you freaking kidding me. Look at minnesota, three terrible point guards in the draft when they could have had steph curry. Look at the clippers history, some decent draft picks but never kept their own players too freaking cheap. Bad teams find a way to draft the greg odens or the darko milic over various hall of fame game changing players year after year. I like the idea of all 30 teams getting an equal shot. It would randomly create some instant superteams every now and again and to me thats exciting but lets face it good organizations will rise to the top. The cream always does. Of course none of this matters as the lottery much like everything else in these antitrust sports entertainment soap operas is rigged to the hilt. They can change it anyway you like; the the bounce will go where the commish wants it to.

    • TEE says:

      A system like that will doom all franchises that cannot attract big name free agents. Would cause the league to lose money probably, The system is fine, even if there is a loophole.

  10. KaashMoneyy94 says:

    People who think Josh Smith isn’t a good fit next to Cousins and Gay don’t understand basketball. All they are looking at is scoring and points. They fail to realize there are other aspects to basketball as well. In Sacramento, J-Smoove would play his natural position at the 4, not the SF position like the Pistons made him play. I mean who does that? And at the PF position all the Kings need of Smith is to rebound and play interior defense as a shot blocking presence. He’ll get his touches when either Gay or Cousins goes to the bench to score for those that think he will begin to pout if doesn’t get the ball. Gay, Smith, and Cousins would make one of the best frontcourts in the NBA. 3 fringe All-Stars

    • Denholm says:

      not to mention gay smith and rondo are really good friends and have wanted to play together since they got into the league, clear cap room and mortgage the future and i can see this core coming together by the deadline

  11. wuffe says:

    one team that should be all over this Josh Smith stretch PF trade is the Rockets. They could use his athleticism swatting balls and rebounding. They will regret not going after him.

  12. v1ncente says:

    Who the hell is Ed Davis added to the Lakers hahahhah, Kupchak the magician.

  13. Andy Johansen says:

    Of course they want Love in Minnesota next season. Problem is, Love doesn’t want to be in Minnesota next season.

  14. Self Proclaimed Hater says:

    Not sure if the salaries are close, but what about Rudy Gay for Josh Smith as the trade itself? I think Rudy would be a better fit for Detroit as he is a natural SF.

    • TTKIN says:

      I think Rudy makes like 5-6 mill more than Josh next yr. Rudy gets 19 next yr, the last of that insane deal of his. Smith is getting like 14 next yr I think. It’d be a good move by DET, they could just let his contract expire after this yr if they want. but I don’t think SAC wants to get rid of him. He turned into a good player again after he was traded there.

  15. RAPS FOR LIFE says:

    The Drafting System is not working. This is obvious. The only reason the Cavs will make the playoffs this season is because King James decided to return home. There have been 7-8 teams that have been able to win the NBA championship over the course of the last 25 years. The Draft is seemingly the only way to get those lower teams to the promised land. The problem is that by the time any of the drafted players are any good, they have experienced losing so much with the lottery team that they leave and sign with one of the 7-8 teams that have won the title. The way to fix this is. Free agency doesn’t kick in until you are 28 years old. I don’t care if you’ve been in the league 1 year or 7 years, you cannot become a free agent until you are 28.This will give teams enough time to both hold onto their young stars until they are in their prime. It will also give them time to build a bond that will allow them a better chance of retain said player.

    • Carlo says:

      And what about foreign players? They usually come to NBA still young but already with pro experience (e.g. Gallinari, Belinelli).
      Would you come to NBA as a 20/22y.o. pro just to be picked by a lowly lottery team and being stranded there for 6/8 years?
      Belinelli was picked by GS and left to rot on the bench by Nelson, then traded to NO. If he had the opportunity to be coached by Thibs or Pop early, he’d be a much better player by now.
      Same goes for any young college star being picked currently by mis-managed teams.

  16. Carlo says:

    The goal behind the “picks” system should be evening out the talent and so raising competitiveness.

    The actual results have been that badly managed teams usually get the best young talents and keep them for three years, thus having the time to completely ruin them.

    Anyway, we’ve just seen the Spurs building an ever winning team with no 1st picks in 17 years and the Cavs doing nothing of 3 1st picks. Let’s see if they’d be able to pick a Ginobili at 57th.

    I’d be a bit extreme in suggesting to go to a “full lottery” pick system: all 30 teams will have equal chances to the picks – or we can say all the picks ranking will be drawn to all the teams. Possibly doing a second different draw for the second round.
    So, the good prospects would have an even opportunity to end into a decent team.

  17. t says:

    I’ve got no clue how would they pull this off salary-wise, but imagine that starting five:
    mclemore/stauskas/collison (whoever turns out a better shooter to spread the floor)

    especially the chemistry between rondo, smith and cousins, I’d love to see that

    that would be fun to watch, even though that’s a wild and unpredictable team. They’d have the potential to destroy anyone in their path but also to collapse in a matter of minutes. I’m wondering if Rondo could actually get such group of guys to work as a coherent unit and not a bunch of wildcards.

  18. harrythehawk says:

    As a Hawks fan, J Smoove can go anywhere but back here. Yeah, Sacramento sounds good to me, and I like him teaming up with Rondo!

  19. WaltBBall says:

    A trade to Sacremento could be a blessing to the “Smoove,” PF is a more natural position. The big concern would be the “Smoove” playing to his strengths where his talent could explode but that would be asking a lot of him since there have only been spurts of allowing his talent to be seen and appreciated because of his need to see himself as some SF who can shoot which is definitely not his forte. I would hope if he is traded to Sacremento that he take full advantage of this opportunity to showcase his unbelievable athleticism. The “Smoove” is a force when he wants to be unfortunately he can have great games when playing to his strengths and then get lost for stretches but a new start in his natural position of PF could be a benefit to Sacremento and the remaining years of his career.

  20. en. says:

    Time to expose the spo

  21. jdub455 says:

    josh smith isnt a good fit with gay and cousins… i think he will thrive in a running system not a halfcourt setup which the pistons use bec of drummond and monroe… suns, heat (b4 bron left), those kinda teams fits josh smith… plus he has a hefty salary… it wud be nice to see a team utilize his skills though esp in open court after playing tough d.. suns will be nice…