There are mixed messages being reported about Andre Iguodala having signed a big new contract. ESPN has reported that Andre Iguodala will return to the Sixers with a six-year, $80 million contract. Reports are that after weeks of negotiations, Iguodala was ready to take the qualifying offer and become a free agent next season and the Sixers quickly upped their offer so as to keep their young and talented forward. However, the Philly Daily News is reporting that they're still negotiating and there's no deal yet. So, it is up in the air whether Iguodala has a nice big new contract or not. More details to come, I am sure. Whether Iguodala gets the big contract that has been reported or signs the qualifying offer and becomes a free agent next summer, don't sleep on the Sixers as they are going to be tough this season with the addition of Elton Brand along with Iguodala, Andre Miller, Samuel Dalembert, Thaddeus Young and Louis Williams and should be right there at the top of the Eastern conference this season.
There are more mixed messages coming from the valley of the Suns. The Suns' back up point guard position is still very much in the air. Draft pick Goran Dragic has said that he definitely is staying in Europe to finish out his contract but Steve Kerr is saying that he still expects Dragic to be the Suns back up point guard this season. Talk about dueling articles. One says he is definitely staying in Italy and the next says Kerr feels that he will be with the Suns. Their second choice, should Dragic not be convinced to leave Tau, seems to be Jannero Pargo. Pargo reportedly has an offer from the Spurs of their $1.9 million bi-annual exception that he is considering and the Suns could offer all or part of their MLE to try to land him but it may mean edging over the Luxury Tax threshold. Shaun Livingston is still coming back from his injury and the Clippers aren't going to bring him back and would probably sign for the minimum for a chance to prove himself. Damon Stoudamire is still out there and, if all else fails, there is always Sam Cassell, who at this point would probably play for peanuts and a bag of potato chips if he could.
Yet another NBA player is making the jump to Europe as Italy's Avellino announced on Tuesday that they have signed former Celtic Dan Dickau. Dickau's stay in Boston was not very successful as early in the season he tore his Achilles tendon and spent the rest of the season rehabbing. He was signed by the Clippers last season where he averaged 5.3 points and 2.6 assists in 67 games.
For the second season in a row, James Posey will get to play in Europe in the preseason as the New Orleans Hornets will be playing 2 of their preseason games in Europe. They will take on the Washington Wizards on October 14 at the O2 World in Berlin, Germany and they will close out NBA Europe Live on October 17 at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain.
The D-League has released its schedule for the 2008-09 season. The Celtics will once again be affiliated with the Utah Flash which will be one of 6 teams playing in the D-League's Western division. Gabe Pruitt spent considerable time with the Flash last season and this year is expected to be a part of the rotation. If both Giddens and Walker are signed, I expect one or possibly both to spend some time with the Flash this season depending on how they do in training camp.
The Cavs are still in discussions with the Bucks and Oklahoma City on a 3 way trade that would bring Mo Williams to Cleveland, Joe Smith to OKC and Luke Ridnour to the Bucks. Delonte West may also be involved in a sign and trade. It is rather puzzling that the Cavs are balking at giving Delonte West $5 or $6 million but they are considering taking on Williams' contract that will run them almost 9 million a year. But, reports are that it is Williams' contract that is stalling the talks right now with both OKC and Milwaukee ready to go ahead with the deal.
Rockets point guard Rafer Alston is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday after he was arrested and charged with a DUI last week. A year ago, he was charged with misdemeanor assault and public intoxication. A few weeks later, he was arrested on felony assault charges in New York after a nightclub altercation. There are all the signs that Alston is not headed in a good direction. I think of Vin Baker and wonder if things would have been different later in his career if someone had stopped him earlier and gotten him help. Maybe Alston isn't at that point, but the signs are there.
This year's Rookie of the Year might not be one of this year's draft picks. In spite of promising players in this year's draft class such as Michael Beasley, Derek Rose, and Kevin Love, the leader for Rookie of the Year honors has to be last year's number one pick, Greg Oden. He has spent a year rehabbing from knee surgery and reports are that he looks very good after a public practice with some of his Blazer teammates.
Chris Kaman is the only US born basketball player who is playing for a team other than USA and he has taken a lot of flack for doing so. He and his parents were born in the USA but his grandparents were German and so he is playing for the German National Team. The Clippers didn't want him to play and tried to talk him out of it, but the worst opposition came from his dad who told him that he is an American and not German and that he hoped that the US would beat Germany. His mother, however is cheering for him and Germany. Makes for some tense moments in the Kaman home, I would think. I do like his short haircut. That long stringy hair wasn't a good look at all.
The OC Register is coming around to Paul Pierce's view of things. With a headline of "Maybe Paul Pierce is the Best Player in the World," they have this to say about Kobe Bryant:
Today, mighty Angola couldn’t match Team USA, but they handled Kobe Bryant like he was an NBA bench-warmer. Bryant made four of 13 shots from the floor and clanked all eight of his three-point attempts. He finished with eight points, four rebounds and two assists.
Even more significant, Bryant did not shoot a free throw.
Over two Olympic games, Kobe is 1-for-15 from three.
Against China, Bryant made six of 14 shots from the floor, and he’s now shooting a whopping 37 percent from the floor in the Olympics.