Just because things have finally quieted down a bit with the calendar turning the page to August, there are always some new and interesting developments in and around the league. The following is a brief look at some of the more relevant news and notes for this week in the NBA.
The smoke has cleared from a very active month of player movement in the NBA through the draft, free agency and trades. All this activity has worked to help change the entire landscape of the league, as teams continue to gear-up for a run at next season’s world title.
Bryant open to finishing his career
While the US
Men’s Olympic Basketball team continues its quest for a gold medal in the 2012
Summer’s Games in London, Kobe Bryant, who is a member of the team, has left
the door open to a possible stint in Europe somewhere down the line before he
hangs up his sneakers for good. Bryant alluded to the fact that the thought of
playing professional basketball in Europe holds some real appeal considering
that he spent a good part of his youth overseas as the son of former Italian
League star Joe Bryant. It is not clear where exactly he would play, but Bryant
speaks Italian and Spanish fluently and even briefly flirted with the idea of
playing in China during last year’s NBA lockout.
One thing we
know for sure is that he will play out the final two years of his current
contract with the Los Angeles Lakers before deciding what might be next for the
future NBA ‘Hall of Famer”.
Free agent market is picked over
start of training camp still over eight weeks away, the NBA free agent pool is
just about drained. After a fast and furious first month of signings this
offseason, the impact players left without home for next year are far and few
A couple of
the biggest names that remain on the list include 38-year old guard Derrick
Fisher, who last played for Oklahoma City, 23-year old guard Jonny Flynn, who
was with the Trail Blazers last season, but has yet to live-up to expectations
with any of the three teams he has played for, and 34-year old Kenyon Martin,
whose multiple knee surgeries has raised some serious red flags, but still
remained effective defensively for the Los Angeles Clippers last season.
Brandon Roy lands in Minnesota
Not too long
ago it appeared that Brandon Roy’s NBA basketball career was all but over after
repeated knee problems kept the 28-year old guard out of action, but at a news
conference last Tuesday he was introduced as the Minnesota Timberwolves latest
acquisition. Roy has spent the last seven months rehabbing his knees and
remains confident he can still play the game at a high level. While he will not
be counted on as part of Minnesota’s starting lineup, team GM David Kahn
believes that the Roy will be able to ‘help us in innumerable ways, well beyond
the basketball court” given his quality of character and intangible talent he
can bring to the table. Either way, this is still a team years away from a title, and not one that I will ba adding to my NBA picks any time soon.
Tucker earns a spot in Phoenix after
an impressive showing in the Summer League
It has been
a rough journey back into the NBA for forward PJ Tucker after spending the last
five seasons bouncing around the international circuit with teams in Puerto
Rico, Greece, Israel, and Germany, but he hopes he may have finally found a
home back in the US with the Phoenix Suns.
coming off a very impressive performance in the Las Vegas Summer League that
earned him a two-year contract with the team. He was a second-round pick of
Toronto in the 2004 draft but could never latch-on with the Raptors. At
6-foot-6 and 244 pounds, he has just the size and power that Phoenix is looking
for to add some depth to the lineup at the forward position.