May 18, 2013 2:15 PM EDT
After a breakout season in Europe, Gani Lawal has intrigued NBA teams and could receive consideration for a contract, league sources told RealGM.
Lawal has already scheduled workouts – private and as part of mini-camps – with the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic, sources said. Four to five other teams have discussed bringing him in to work out, too.
Lawal, the 6-foot-9 athletic, scrappy forward, had his best professional season with Italy’s Virtus Roma, averaging 13.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Virtus Roma has gone 20-10 this season and ranks third in the league standings.
Since leaving the Phoenix Suns organization that drafted him in the second round in 2010, Lawal, 24, has lost weight and added strength. Lawal played one game with the Suns two seasons ago and was in the San Antonio Spurs’ training camp in 2011, but he was derailed by injuries and didn’t figure into a long-term plan. He was drafted after three years at Georgia Tech.
May 18, 2013 11:05 AM EDT
The Toronto Raptors are pursuing Masai Ujiri to become the team's top basketball executive, according to sources.
Ujiri was named the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year for his work as general manager of the Nuggets.
Ujiri's contract with the Nuggets expires this summer and he has been in discussions on an extension.
Korn/Ferry International, the search firm hired by MLSE to search for a new GM for the Raptors, has identified Ujiri as its top candidate.
MLSE has until Monday to make a decision on whether to retain Bryan Colangelo, who could stay with the franchise under a new decision-maker.
Ujiri worked for three years with the Raptors under Colangelo before becoming GM of the Nuggets.
May 18, 2013 7:53 PM EDT
George Hill has been cleared to play and will start for the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 against the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel said he doesn't expect Hill, who suffered a concussion on Tuesday night and missed Thursday's Game 5, to be limited.
The team released the following statement about 90 minutes prior to the tip:
Over the last two days under the care of the Indiana Pacers' medical staff, George Hill has participated in each step of the NBA's Return-to-Participation Exertion Protocol as part of the NBA's Concussion Policy.
During the process, George remained symptom-free after each step including his workouts earlier today. After consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the NBA's Director of Concussion Management, the Pacers' team physicians have cleared George to play in tonight's game.
May 18, 2013 3:37 PM EDT
Mike Krzyzewski is now giving serious consideration to remaining as head coach of USA Basketball through the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
"There's a chance," Krzyzewski said. "That's correct."
Krzyzewski had said for eight months that he's not returning to his position with USA Basketball, but a final decision has yet to be reached.
Jerry Colangelo said Saturday he and Krzyzewski have been discussing his return "in installments."
"I think it's very close to being resolved," Colangelo said. "That's all I can say for sure."
Krzyzewski has a 62-1 since 2005, a run that includes gold medal Olympic victories in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
May 18, 2013 7:41 PM EDT
NBA general managers expressed pessimism about the 2013 draft in general and the No. 1 pick in particular.
"I'm not sure I want the No. 1 pick," said one NBA GM.
Another expressed similar pessimism at the thought of having to draft someone first this year.
"There's really no one worthy of the top pick," the talent evaluator said. "But someone has to go number one."
May 18, 2013 2:39 PM EDT
The Oklahoma City Thunder are not considering using the amnesty clause on Kendrick Perkins.
"We just haven't considered using the provision. ... We think Perk has a lot of value to our team," Sam Presti said Saturday.
Perkins is set to make about $18 million over the next two seasons.
May 18, 2013 7:43 PM EDT
Jerry Sloan could return to the Utah Jazz as a consultant, two years after he resigned as coach.
"If there’s something out there that’s right for both parties, we would welcome a relationship with Jerry," Jazz president Randy Rigby said. "The Utah Jazz have great love and respect for him."
Sloan wouldn’t want to be seen as getting in the way of Tyrone Corbin.
"When we talked about getting him seats to the games, he was very sensitive about where they were located," Rigby said. "He didn’t want to be too close to the floor. He did not want to portray to Tyrone that he was interfering. That speaks volumes about Jerry Sloan, that he’s sensitive to something like that."
May 18, 2013 10:27 AM EDT
Vinny Del Negro is scheduled to meet with Donald Sterling over the weekend to discuss his job status, a league source said Friday.
Del Negro and Sterling are scheduled to meet in Los Angeles and a decision is anticipated shortly after.
Del Negro's contract expires June 30.
May 18, 2013 7:46 PM EDT
LeBron James sought the advice of Ray Allen on how to shoot free throws and the four-time MVP is beginning to reap the benefits.
James shot 80.8 percent from the stripe in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"We’ve talked ad nauseam about his bad habits when he misses free throws, so he kind of has a better idea of it," Allen said. "He should watch real film of it. Not just game film, but on the court practicing. And then find that routine and stick to it and give himself a better chance."
James has taken to challenging Allen to free throw competitions during practice.
"You don’t want to look crazy making six out of 10 when he’s making 10 out of 10 every time," James said. "So, he puts pressure on me to make free throws, and I just try to translate what we do in practice into the game."
May 18, 2013 10:40 AM EDT
The Portland Trail Blazers “really like” Victor Oladipo and are considering moving up in the draft to get him, according to a source close to the prospect.
Oladipo expressed interest in playing for the Blazers.
“I would really love to go to Portland, and I'm not just saying that,” Oladipo said. “I hope, and I don't think I'm dropping that far, but if they decided to move up somehow, I think that would be a great situation for me. It's a place where you can just concentrate on basketball.”
Oladipo is projected to go in the top five of the upcoming draft.
Alen Len is confident about what he will be able to accomplish at the NBA level.
The Celtics' medical staff is confident rest will heal Kevin Garnett's ankle.
With Russell Westbrook set to return next season, the Thunder might be anticipating a sixth man role for Reggie Jackson.
There is no timetable for Charlotte to rename its team to the Hornets and Adam Silver has said such a change would take at least 18 months to implement.
Arron Afflalo struggled in his first season with the Magic.
Nikola Mirotic was drafted 23rd overall in 2011.
The Mavericks will pick in the lottery for the first time since 2004.
Due to the injury to David Lee, the Warriors were forced to be inventive and play Harrison Barnes minutes at power forward.
Kevin Pritchard and Troy Weaver are two names being mentioned as candidates to replace Bryan Colangelo, should the Raptors make a move.
Larry Drew is receiving interest from the Bucks and a second NBA team.
Otto Porter is considered the top-ranked small forward in the NBA draft.
Chris Copeland will be a restricted free agent this summer.
Vivek Ranadive and Chris Mullin have met several times, but have not discussed the possibility of working together.
Mike Malone is expected to be a leading candidate for the Kings' head coaching position.
Phil Jackson's daughter, Brooke, had been sexually assaulted by an athlete while she was in college, so Kobe Bryant's situation "cracked open an old wound."
The Warriors believe they can purchase a first or second round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Danny Ferry is conducting interviews for the Hawks.
J.J. Redick will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The NBA owners offered to refund a $30 million non-refundable deposit made by the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer ownership group.
Older Wiretap Articles »
Deshaun Thomas has been working out with Greg Oden.
Basketball Wiretap Headlines