League sources said Saturday night that Kirilenko — if he and his $3.3 million contract clear waivers as expected — is eyeing a potential return to European basketball as opposed to resuming his NBA career. There are a handful of teams stateside still interested in pursuing him, sources say, but Kirilenko has not yet made it clear whether he’s prepared to consider fresh NBA offers.
October 23, 2016 | 8:37 am EDT Update
76ers reserve center Nerlens Noel is scheduled to have surgery Monday at the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York to address an inflamed plica above his left knee, according to sources. Dr. Riley Williams will scope the area during a 10-minute procedure. Noel, who’s been sidelined since Oct. 6, is expected to be sidelined an additional three to five weeks. However, he will get a more accurate timeline following the surgery.
The New Orleans Pelicans have until Monday afternoon to get their roster to the NBA-maximum 15 players and it appears Lance Stephenson and Alonzo Gee are in a two-man battle to land the final spot. Stephenson signed a $1.2 million contract with the Pelicans in September but only $100,000 is guaranteed. Gee signed a guaranteed $1.2 million veteran minimum contract to this summer to return to the Pelicans, but averaged only 9.2 minutes in five preseason games and just 1.4 points.
It seems the Celtics are content to wait until the 11th hour to make a decision on whether to keep R.J. Hunter or James Young for their final roster spot. While most NBA teams are making their final roster moves to allow players to clear waivers by the Monday deadline, both Hunter and Young practiced Saturday while the organization desperately sought at least a second-round pick for one of the two. The Celtics would like some type of compensation for either of the players, each of whom were first-round picks, and they have decided to move Hunter or Young with their decision to retain 2016 second-round pick Demetrius Jackson as a third point guard.
Before the Clippers’ practice Saturday, Chris Paul wanted to talk about the problem, pivoting on a question about quick start to a different line of thought. “One of the biggest things for us is our home court hasn’t really been a home court,” Paul said. “I don’t know. For some reason we just haven’t made it a tough place to play. “ … Obviously it’s our mentality. We’re the ones playing. We have to give our crowd something to cheer about, something to get behind. We’ve got to make Staples Center, for our home games, a tough place to play.”
“I feel like sometimes we’re a better road team than we are a home team, and that’s not good,” center DeAndre Jordan said. “I mean it’s good, but we want to be a great team at home and a really, really, really good team on the road. We need to figure out how to transition that, and we’ll be fine, but we’ve got to pick it up at home.” “I feel like when we’re at home, we rely on our crowd, we rely on, ‘OK, we’re at home.’ But (when) we’re on the road, we know it’s us against everybody else in this arena, so that’s more motivation, more fire, I guess. So, we’ve got to find that same fire at home.”