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NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Gregg Popovich Retiring Before Contract Expires?

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Popovich talks retirement

If anything, Gregg Popovich said, he could wind up walking away before Tim Duncan. Popovich signed a five-year contract extension last summer, but admitted that the length was a product of owner Peter Holt’s desires more than it was his own.

“It’s a five-year contract, but the chances of staying for five years I don’t think are very good,” Popovich said.

Via Sam Amick of USA Today Sports

The lead in this article was Popovich talking about how he feels that Duncan is going to pass on retirement for another year and come back again after this season. The Spurs are targeting LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol this summer as his long-term replacement, but could be able to keep him in the mix for another year or so based on how consistent he’s been this season, according to Popovich. Duncan was recently named to the Western Conference All-Star team and has aged as gracefully as any player in the league’s history.

As for Popovich, he too has adjusted and adapted as the game has changed. He remains the most well respected and accomplished coach in the game today. However, he’s thought about retirement for years already. He’s 66 years of age he tried to move back up to the front office recently, only to be told by general manager R.C. Buford that he needs a coach, not help in the front office.

Popovich seems like one of those all-timers who will always talk about retirement, but have trouble walk away. In fact, he could end up going out like Jerry Sloan, suddenly one day when it seems least expected. The Spurs don’t seem like they’re going to slow down anytime soon, which will only make it more difficult for Popovich to walk away. Although he’s always mentioned in association with Duncan when it comes to retirement, with the possibility of them going into the sunset together talked about plenty of times, but Popovich also has great loyalty to Tony Parker, who recently signed a three-year extension. Parker will certainly campaign to get him to stick around as long as he does.

Brian Shaw safe?

But should the Nuggets fire Shaw? If this passionless play keeps up this month, yeah, get rid of the guy. But if Denver’s front office feels confident it can give Shaw a fresh group of young players to mold, maybe it’s worth keeping him around. If the Nuggets continue to lose in the spectacular fashion they have been, then this coach is essentially saying — I can’t motivate guys to even compete, so how could I motivate a team next season that might need to learn through losing?

Right now, though, his front office has faith.

“Brian has been dealt a very difficult hand, but we’re an organization that’s process-oriented, we don’t make emotional decisions,” Connelly said. “Certainly none of us are happy with the lack of success we’ve had thus far. But we’re firmly behind Brian, and we are hopeful we can quickly get back on the right track.”

Via Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post

Shaw’s job status has become a hot topic as of late. His team continues to struggle, coming off of a set of embarrassing losses to the hobbled Charlotte Hornets and the lowly Philadelphia 76ers, prompting Shaw to say that they are in a “bad place” right now.

Truthfully, Shaw has never had a full roster at his disposal. That’s really limited how well he could do, but with how well someone like Tom Thibodeau has done with a short-handed roster in Chicago over the past two years, that’s no excuse for the lows that the Nuggets have reached. There’s still a lot of talent on this roster, but for now Nuggets ownership and management seem to be more focused on roster change than coaching.

They’ve been pursuing Reggie Jackson and Brook Lopez recently and appear to be one of the more active teams in the league with the February 19 trade deadline approaching. At 19-30 they’re eight and half games out of the playoffs, a hole that is probably too deep to climb out of this year.

Nick Collison, Thunder agree to extension

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed forward Nick Collison to a two-year contract extension that will pay him close to $8 million, a source told Yahoo Sports.
The Thunder had announced on Tuesday morning that Collison was signed to a multi-year extension. Collison, the longest-tenured member of the Thunder, is averaging 3.8 points and 3.4 rebounds as a reserve in 16 minutes per game this season.

Via Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports

Collison is the kind of blue collar leader whose impact is not necessarily indicated by basic statistics. That’s why the Thunder made sure to sign him to an extension early, a sign of commitment and respect to what he means to the team. When Kevin Durant talks about the leaders on the Thunder, Collison is always mentioned. He may not play the biggest role in games, but he means a lot to the team and this is just another sign after the Dion Waiters trade that the Thunder are all-in right now.

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About Yannis Koutroupis

Yannis Koutroupis

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.