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NBA PM: Spurs Are Latest to Work Out Beasley

The Spurs are the latest team to work out Michael Beasley, who is one of the best unsigned free agents.

Alex Kennedy



Spurs Latest Team to Work Out Beasley

Michael Beasley is one of the top free agents remaining on the market this offseason. The 25-year-old, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, spent last season with the Miami HEAT and is currently an unrestricted free agent.

Beasley has worked out twice for the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, and today he worked out for the San Antonio Spurs at the team’s practice facility, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

The Spurs have just 14 guaranteed contracts on their roster, and they have been auditioning players in recent weeks for that last roster spot. In addition to Beasley, they have shown interest in Gustavo Ayon, Jamaal Franklin, Ryan Hollins, Zoran Dragic, Ray Allen and Hakim Warrick among others in recent weeks.

It seemed that restricted free agent Aron Baynes would be San Antonio’s final guaranteed contract, but the two sides haven’t been able to agree to a deal. Now, the big man has reportedly been put on the trade block.

Beasley didn’t play as much as he had hoped with the HEAT last season, averaging just 7.9 points in 15.1 minutes per game. During the postseason, Beasley fell out of Miami’s rotation.

However, he did show some positive signs throughout the 2013-14 campaign. He accepted his limited role with maturity and shot a career-high 49.9 percent from the field. Teams that have expressed interest in Beasley have mentioned that they were impressed by his maturation and efficiency.

Beasley’s camp understands that they need to find the right situation for him, one that will allow him to potentially salvage his NBA career. If he goes to a team and gets cut, or sits at the end of the bench, he may find himself out of the league sooner than later.

With that said, a team like San Antonio, which is a perennial contender and has very strong leadership, could be an excellent spot for Beasley to land. It was these very things that attracted Beasley to Miami last year, since the team was the favorite to win the championship and had a number of players and coaches who were strong presences in the locker room and positive role models.

Beasley will be paid from the Phoenix Suns during the 2014-15 season, since they waived him less than 14 months after agreeing to a three-year, $18 million contract with him during the summer of 2012.

The money coming from the Suns allows Beasley to be patient and wait for the right situation to present itself. He could even wait for the season to begin and sign with a team that needs a scorer after sustaining an injury.

Beasley’s off-the-court issues have no doubt scared some teams away this offseason. When the Suns released him, they cited “personal and professional conduct standards” since he had gotten in trouble several times during his one-year stint with the franchise. While Beasley showed some maturity last year, he still has a lot to prove to teams before they’ll completely look past his previous issues.

Beasley has shown that he can be a productive player in the NBA. He was a double-digit scorer in the first five years of his NBA career, and he averaged 19.2 points during the 2010-11 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Kings, Rockets Finalize Terry Trade

The Sacramento Kings today acquired guard-forward Alonzo Gee, guard Scotty Hopson and a trade exception from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Jason Terry and a pair of future second-round draft selections, according to Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro. This trade was consummated awhile back, but wasn’t made official until this afternoon.

Gee joins the Kings after spending four seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-11 – 2013-14) following stints in Washington, Toronto and San Antonio. In 277 career NBA contests, the University of Alabama standout is averaging 7.9 points (.451 FG%, .329 3pt%, .773 FT), 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 24.1 minutes per game. His contract is non-guaranteed for the 2014-15 season.

Undrafted out of the University of Tennessee, Hopson appeared in two contests for Cleveland last season before being traded to the Rockets during the offseason. His contract is non-guaranteed for the 2014-15 season.

Terry, a 15-year NBA veteran, has accrued career averages of 15.4 points (.446 FG%, .379 3PT%, .846 FT%), 2.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.31 steals and 32.5 minutes per game in 1,136 contests with the Atlanta Hawks (1999-2004), Dallas Mavericks (2004-2012), Boston Celtics (2012-13), Brooklyn Nets (2013-14) and Kings (2013-14). He missed the final 28 games last season while rehabilitating a left knee injury.

HARMEN Becomes Audio Partner of NBA

The NBA and HARMEN International today announced a comprehensive multi-year marketing and merchandising partnership that will make the company the official headphone, speaker and audio partner of the NBA, WNBA, NBA Development League and USA Basketball.

The new marketing and consumer products partnership will focus on HARMAN’s JBL brand and will provide fans with enhanced audio experiences both in the arena and at home.  HARMAN’s products will also be featured at NBA events worldwide and integrated into league operations.  HARMAN will provide JBL and other HARMAN products to players and coaches.

Additionally, as early as this holiday season, HARMAN will produce NBA-branded audio products for fans around the world.  The products will include team- and player-branded headphones and portable speakers.

“As a global leader known for creating and developing the best audio products on the market, we are honored to welcome HARMAN to the NBA family,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “This groundbreaking partnership showcases the intersection of technology and entertainment, and provides our tech-savvy fans with another way to further connect with their favorite team and players.”

“HARMAN is extremely proud to become the first official audio partner of the NBA and excited to elevate the NBA basketball experience for fans around the world wherever they enjoy the sounds of the game – at the arena, in their homes, in their cars, or on the go,” said HARMAN Chairman, President and CEO Dinesh Paliwal.  “Recognizing the convergence of music, sports, technology and entertainment, the NBA and HARMAN are ideal partners to develop powerful marketing programs and exciting co-branded audio products that will engage and inspire a new generation of fans.”

HARMAN will present the NBA All-Star Entertainment Series, bringing the excitement of the musical performances at State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and during pregame introductions and the halftime show at the NBA All-Star Game to fans in the arena and watching at home.  HARMAN also will conduct significant activities at many other marquee events across the NBA, WNBA, NBA D-League, and USA Basketball, including: NBA All-Star Jam Session, Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star, NBA D-League All-Star and the USA Basketball Global Exhibition Tour.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.


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NBA Daily: Jonathan Isaac Proving to be Key Part of Orlando’s Future

Basketball Insiders spoke with Jonathan Isaac about his rookie season, injuries, areas to improve on, his faith and more.

James Blancarte



On January 13, the Orlando Magic were eliminated from playoff contention. This date served as a formality as the team has known for quite some time that any postseason hopes had long since sailed. The Magic started the year off on a winning note and held an 8-4 record in early November. However, the team lost their next nine games and never really recovered.

Many factors play a role in a young but talented team like the Magic having another season end like this. Injuries to franchise cornerstone Aaron Gordon as well as forward Evan Fournier and forward Jonathan Isaac magnified the team’s issues.

Isaac, a rookie selected sixth overall in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft, started the season off reasonably well. On November 10, in 21 minutes of action, he registered an 11-point, six-rebound, one-assist, one-steal, two-block all-around effort against the Phoenix Suns to help the Magic get to that 8-4 record. Isaac then suffered an ankle injury midway through his next game and wouldn’t play again until December 17, by which time the team was already 11-20 with athe season quickly going sideways. From November until March, Isaac would only play in three games until finally returning to consistent action in the month of March with the season all but decided.

Basketball Insiders spoke to Isaac recently to discuss how he has pushed through this season, staying healthy, his impressive skill set and more.

“I’ve had a lot of time off from being injured so, I think my body is holding up fine along with how much I’ve played. I haven’t played a full season,” Isaac told Basketball Insiders “I feel good. I feel good.”

Isaac talked about what part of his game he feels strongly about and has improved on.

“I think defensively,” Isaac said. “I didn’t expect myself to make strides defensively like I have. I’ve been able to just be able to just do different things and help this team defensively and I didn’t expect that coming in so, that would be the one thing.”

Magic Head Coach Frank Vogel was effusive in his praise of Isaac’s defense and also focused on the rookie’s great defensive potential.

“His defense is out of this world. I mean it’s really something else,” Vogel said. “Just watch him play and everybody’s getting a taste of it right now. They haven’t seen him a whole lot but he’s an elite defender right now at 20-years old and the sky’s the limit for what he can be on that end of the floor.

While Isaac hasn’t logged a huge number of minutes on the floor this season, he has impressed in his limited action. As Coach Vogel stated, anyone who has taken the time to watch Isaac play this season has noticed his ability to guard other big men and his overall defensive impact.

“I think I’ve been able to do a good job on most of the people that I’ve had to guard,” Isaac said.

Missing Isaac’s defense impact and overall contributions partially explains why the Magic cooled off after their hot start. However, with the playoffs no longer an option, younger players like Isaac now have the opportunity to play with less attention and pressure. While it can be argued that the Magic aren’t really playing for anything, the truth is these late-season games can be an opportunity to develop these younger players and determine what to work on during the offseason.

There is more to Isaac than just basketball, however. Isaac discussed other parts of his life that are important to him, including religion and his faith.

“[M]y faith in Jesus is something that I put a lot of emphasis on,” Isaac told Basketball Insiders. “It’s a part of me.”

Isaac did not hesitate to credit his faith when asked if it helped him push through his injuries.

“I would say definitely,” Isaac said. “Especially with getting injured so early in the season and being out for 40 games. That’s a lot on somebody’s mental capacity and then just staying positive, staying joyful in times where joy doesn’t seem like it’s the right emotion to have. And I definitely [attribute] that to my faith.”

Looking forward, both Vogel and Isaac discussed the future and what the young big man can improve on.

“Offensively, he’s grown in confidence, he’s gained so he’s going to give us a big lift and our future’s bright with him,” Vogel stated.

Isaac gave a hint of his offseason training plans when asked what he looks forward to working on.

“I would say consistency with my jump shot. Really working on my three-ball and I would say ball-handling,” Isaac stated.

When asked if there was anything more he wanted to add, Isaac simply smiled and said, “Oh no, I think I got to get to church right now,” as the team prepared to play later that evening.

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Tyronn Lue’s Health Concerns Latest Bump In The Road For Cavaliers

Spencer Davies outlines Tyronn Lue’s decision to take a leave of absence to deal with health issues and covers the reaction around the NBA.

Spencer Davies



The win-loss record is not where they want it to be.

The performances have not been up to par with what they expect.

With that said, one thing is for certain: There is no other team that will have been more battle tested going into the playoffs than the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Day after day and week after week, there’s always something going on with the team. Between in-house arguments, on-court miscommunication, roster turnover, and more, it has been one giant roller coaster of a season.

Monday morning, another twist was added to the ride. In a statement released by the Cavaliers organization, Tyronn Lue and general manager Koby Altman announced that the head coach would be taking a leave of absence to address his health:

“After many conversations with our doctors and Koby and much thought given to what is best for the team and my health, I need to step back from coaching for the time being and focus on trying to establish a stronger and healthier foundation from which to coach for the rest of the season.

“I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year. Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is. While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team.

“I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season. My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the Championship we are all working towards. I greatly appreciate Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman, our medical team and the organization’s support throughout.”

There were multiple instances where Lue either missed part of a half or an entire game this season. The symptoms are definitely not to be taken lightly. According to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin, Lue attempted to return to the bench Saturday night in Chicago but the team didn’t allow him to. Evidently, Lue was “coughing up blood” some nights.

Seeing it first hand after postgame press conferences, Lue was visibly exhausted and stress could likely be playing a part. He’s been fighting through the tough times the team has been going through and avoided stepping away twice this season.

Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford had his own battle with health problems earlier this season and temporarily left the team for those reasons. He has attempted to reach out to Lue, a friend and former player of his.

Other head coaches around the league—Joe Prunty, Steve Kerr, and Luke Walton—have all gone to bat for Lue when discussing the rigors of an NBA schedule and the toll it takes.

Altman supports the decision for Lue to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

“We know how difficult these circumstances are for Coach Lue and we support him totally in this focused approach to addressing his health issues,” he said.

LeBron James is glad that Lue is going to take some time to get better.

“Obviously, health is the most important with everything in life,” James said Monday after shootaround. “Not surprised by it at all. I knew he was struggling, but he was never not himself. He was just dealing with it the best way he could, but he was never not himself when he was around.

“It doesn’t matter what’s going on here. We play a great sport, our coaches get to coach a great sport, and you guys get to cover a great sports. But health is most important right now and that’s what our coach is doing right now and we’re all in favor for it.”

The latest piece of news is a blow to the already injury-ridden Cleveland group. Assistant coach Larry Drew will take over duties until Lue returns.

The good news for the Cavaliers is that Kevin Love can potentially return to the mix as soon as Monday night against Milwaukee.

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NBA Daily: Calderón’s Late NBA Start

Jose Calderón might be the only player in the league who didn’t grow up dreaming of playing in the NBA.

Joel Brigham



There are a lot of different ways to get to the NBA, but most of them involve lifelong scouting and an unceasing dream to play in the world’s premier basketball league.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard José Calderón didn’t really have either of those things.

“I never even thought of the NBA when I was a kid,” Calderón told Basketball Insiders. “I grew up in a small town in Spain, and I played basketball because my dad played and I loved it. I was having fun, always playing with the older guys because I was good at that age, but I never really even thought about playing any sort of professional basketball.”

Having grown up in Villanueva de la Serena, Spain, Calderón watched his father play for Doncel La Serena, which was his hometown team as a child. He was something of a prodigy, having attended practices and games with his father from a young age, and as burgeoning teenager he left home to play professionally for the lower-level Vitoria-Gasteiz team.

“They wanted to sign me at 13 years old, and we didn’t even know that they could sign people that young,” Calderón remembers. “So I did that, and I tried to get better. I tried to advance into the older clubs, but I never really did think about the NBA at all, honestly.”

That changed as he got older, though, especially after Spain finished 5th in the 2002 FIBA World Championship and Calderón started to get some stateside recognition.

“After that summer, [my agent and I] got a call from Milwaukee asking about my situation, and asked would I think about coming to play over here. It was sort of a let’s-see-what-happens sort of situation, but I couldn’t at that time because I was under contract. That was the first time I was really approached.”

As his teammates from the Spanish National Team made their way to the NBA, Calderón grew increasingly intrigued.

“Pau Gasol obviously opened a lot of doors for us,” he said. “Raul Lopez came, too. I was just playing basketball, though. I didn’t know anything about scouts. Later, when we started to get the calls from Toronto, I started to realize how possible it really was. That’s when I thought, ‘Hey, why not?’”

Despite being eligible for a few drafts in a row, Calderón never did get drafted, which was fine by him. Growing up the way he did, Calderón never had any dreams of his hearing his name called by Commissioner Stern, so playing his way through most of his deal with TAU Vitoria was no big deal for him. He could take or leave the NBA.

“Not getting drafted was the perfect situation for me,” he said. “In my satiation, coming from Europe, I was already playing professionally for a good team and making some good money. That was perfect for me at the time, and I was happy to be a free agent at 23, choosing where I was going to sign instead of going in the second round and having to play for one team.”

He signed with the Raptors in 2005 since they were the most aggressive in recruiting him to the NBA. As a 23-year-old rookie, he wasn’t overwhelmed physically the way a lot of rookies are, but he did find his new league challenging in other ways.

“The hardest part was just having to start over,” he said. “You start over from zero. It doesn’t matter if the other players know you or don’t, you have to prove yourself all over again. You could be the MVP of Europe, but to get respect in the NBA you have to gain it on the court.”

The talent differential was immediately noticeable, as well.

“There are so many guys out there that are better than you. It’s not just like a guy or two; there are six, seven guys on the floor any given time that are better than you.”

That meant making some changes in the way that Calderón played. He was asked to do a lot more offensively for his EuroLeague team. Playing with so many talented scorers completely changed his approach.

“I went from taking 20 shots a game to doing something else, and as a point guard in the NBA I had to approach that point guard role even more, to make those guys respect my game, to make them want to play with me. I had to be able to pass the ball, to do something different from all the other players, so I became a fast-first point guard to make sure we always played as a team. That’s how I get to where I am as a professional.”

Now 36 years old, Calderón is one of the league’s oldest players, making it easy for him to look back at where he came from to transform into the player he is today.

“I’ve grown so much, but I was lucky to be given the opportunity,” he said. “When you arrive from Europe, whether you’re good or bad, it doesn’t always matter if you don’t have the opportunity. Toronto gave me the opportunity to play 20 minutes a night, and that’s a lot. I made a lot of mistakes, but they let me play through those mistakes. All those little things added up for me, and I learned a lot.”

He owns two silver medals and a bronze in the three Olympics he’s participated in over the course of his career, as well as gold medals in FIBA World Cup and EuroBasket, but he’s never won an NBA championship. Joining up with LeBron James improves those odds, but that’s the thing that would really put an exclamation point on an excellent career.

Calderón could have stayed in Spain and been fine. He jokes that while the NBA has been very good to him, he and his family could have stayed in Europe and he could have made good money playing basketball there. He’s been happy with his career, though, however unorthodox his journey here, and he hopes his most prestigious accolades are yet to come.

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