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 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 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 12:23 AM EDT
The Charlotte Bobcats have started the process to rename the team back to "Hornets," according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
There is no timetable for the switch and Adam Silver has said such a change would take at least 18 months to implement.
Charlotte's NBA team was known as the Hornets from its 1988 inception through 2002 when then owner George Shinn moved the team -- and mascot -- to New Orleans.
The New Orleans franchise changed its name to Pelicans after this season, which opened the door for Charlotte to reclaim its old name.
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 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.
May 18, 2013 11:16 AM EDT
Alen Len is confident about what he will be able to accomplish at the NBA level.
“I think maybe 10 years from now, I’ll be the best player out of this draft,” Len said.
Len was limited by a stress fracture in his ankle over the final two weeks of the NCAA season. But in his first game of the year, Len scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against projected No. 1 overall pick Nerlens Noel.
“I think I did pretty well that game,” Len said of his performance against Noel. “I think I was able to show NBA scouts what I could be in the future. I kind of showed my potential. After this season, I got more confident and talked to my coaches. In NBA, you have individual coaches with you. I decided to come out early, because I want to progress quicker. The developmental process will be faster.”
May 18, 2013 12:32 AM EDT
After sporadic playing time as a rookie last season, Reggie Jackson emerged as a critical guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder and averaged 13.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists in the playoffs.
With Russell Westbrook set to return next season, the Thunder might be anticipating a sixth man role for Jackson.
“If that's the number that's called,” Jackson said, “I'm doing my best to just be ready for whatever situation I'm thrown into next year.”
“I'm excited about his future, about what he was able to do during the minutes that he had," Brooks added.
May 18, 2013 2:12 AM EDT
After battling an inflammed left ankle late in the season, Kevin Garnett will continue to rest it and will not have surgery.
The Boston Celtics' medical staff is confident rest will heal Garnett's ankle.
Danny Ainge recently said the Celtics are awaiting for final word from Garnett about whether he will return for next season.
Due to the injury to David Lee, the Warriors were forced to be inventive and play Harrison Barnes minutes at power forward.
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.
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.
Deshaun Thomas has been working out with Greg Oden.
Ettore Messina was born in Italy and is the current coach of CSKA Moscow
The Maloofs have agreed to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group led by Vivek Ranadive for $535 million, according to a source.
Deshaun Thomas interviewed with the Spurs on Thursday.
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Nerlens Noel is recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee.
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