Though he has yet to confirm his retirement, Steve Nash is under no delusions when it comes to the fact that his NBA career is at its end. The Los Angeles Lakers point guard joined the The Bro Jake Show on TSN Radio 1040 Vancouver on Tuesday morning and pulled no punches when it came to the state of his game. “Unfortunately the NBA game is just a touch too far for me,” said the 41-year-old native of Victoria, BC. “I play one game and I’m out a month. I have a bunch of back things going on that compromise that nerve.”
July 5, 2015 | 1:26 pm EDT Update
Jason Quick: Source says Butler can sign with the Blazers if he wants, but is in no hurry to make a decision
After signing LaMarcus Aldridge, the San Antonio Spurs are even more determined to try to convince Manu Ginobili to play one more season, sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. Building roster depth is a prime concern for the Spurs after committing all of their available salary-cap space to Aldridge and the returning Danny Green, with limited flexibility to pursue Indiana Pacers free agent David West and re-sign the likes of Tim Duncan and Ginobili.: 3 more rumors
Ginobili has long planned to reveal his decision about continuing his career in the newspaper La Nacion in his native Argentina. Sources say the Spurs remain quietly optimistic that Ginobili will ultimately opt for one more season. The 37-year-old Ginobili has pondered retirement since San Antonio’s season ended with a heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of the Western Conference first round.
Ian Begley: #Knicks prez Phil Jackson, GM Steve Mills continue to talk to Jason Smith’s representatives about bringing Smith back for 15-16, per sources
The Knicks also were trying to find a way to retain center Jason Smith and combo guard Alexey Shved, but that may not be possible if they get offers higher than $2.8 million. Jackson plans to re-sign Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas for the vet’s minimum. Mark Bartelstein, agent for Smith and Amundson, said the Knicks have kept “closely connected’’ on both issues. But the stars — and even budding stars — are gone.
They are in negotiations with guard J.J. Barea, who they want to keep. It also appears Jeremy Lin, who began his NBA journey on a Mavericks’ summer-league team, is in the Mavericks’ crosshairs. The problem is that all the Mavericks have to spend is the $2.8-million salary-cap exception and minimum contracts. They could create another $2.6-million if they were to waive point guard Raymond Felton under the stretch provision, where he is paid his final year’s salary over several years.
Jake Fischer: Ohio State forward Sam Thompson has left the Sixers’ Utah squad to join the Timberwolves in Las Vegas, according to a league source.
Lillard had wanted to coordinate the timing of a meeting before leaving town, but Aldridge, understandably, was slow to respond. He had a second meeting with the Lakers to focus on that night, then a meeting with the Miami Heat and team president Pat Riley. There were extensive text messages shared between Aldridge and Lillard in what constituted a modern-day conversation, and the message was made quite clear by the time Friday night rolled around: whether the Spurs or the Phoenix Suns, Lillard was convinced Aldridge was gone. None of which is to say Aldridge made a bad choice; in fact, going to the Spurs is a tremendous choice. This combination of top-tier talent both young (Leonard, Aldridge, Danny Green) and old (Duncan, Tony Parker and perhaps Manu Ginobili) is as tantalizing as any we’ve seen, and the Golden State Warriors surely know their title defense just got a whole lot harder.
Ethan J. Skolnick: DeMarre Carroll credits Quin Snyder & Mike Budenholzer for developing his name. Snyder was 1st coach to work on his footwork. @BR_Radio
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say Nick Van Exel is scheduled to be introduced as head coach of the D-League’s @TexasLegends this week … as early as Tuesday
July 5, 2015 | 9:56 am EDT Update
James’ agent, Rich Paul, has made it known to the Cavs that serious talks on a new deal for James will not take place until a new contract for restricted free agent Tristan Thompson is in place. Paul also represents Thompson. James intends to re-sign with the Cavs, sources said, but is not in a hurry.
After making initial progress on a deal with Thompson on Wednesday, the talks have stalled, sources said. The Cavs agreed to a five-year, $110 million deal with Kevin Love and a four-year, $40 million deal with Iman Shumpert on the first day of free agency.
The Knicks also were trying to find a way to retain center Jason Smith and combo guard Alexey Shved, but that may not be possible if they get offers higher than $2.8 million. Jackson plans to re-sign Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas for the vet’s minimum. Mark Bartelstein, agent for Smith and Amundson, said the Knicks have kept “closely connected’’ on both issues.
This is why Marcin Gortat and Nene remain pivotal to Washington. Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair are still under contract. Drew Gooden, because he’s 6-10 and has three-point range, fills two needs at once which is why he’ll likely be re-signed as a free agent. While a person told CSNwashington.com last week that free agent Kevin Seraphin’s return wasn’t out of the question, it’s difficult to see the 6-10 center coming back given his desire to play more.
July 5, 2015 | 1:40 am EDT Update
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say Aldridge arrival in San Antonio will lead Spurs to lobby Ginobili even harder to play one more year. NEED him for depth now: 3 more rumors
Marc Stein: So we await Manu’s La Nacion column in Argentina revealing decision to play on or retire … but safe bet is he gives Spurs one more season
When you see all the attention LaMarcus and DeAndre [Jordan] have gotten the past few days, have you thought at all about next summer and yourself? Kevin Durant: “No I haven’t thought about it. I hear it all the time but I really am just focusing on rehab. I can’t get there unless I take care of today. That’s the way I look at it even though I hear it from every side, thinking past to next summer. But I’m not even trying to focus on that. I’m excited about our team, our new coaches and just trying to get back right.”
Is next year going to be hard for you, with all the questions about your future? “Man, this is the toughest year I’ve ever been through in my life, as far as basketball is concerned. Just to be back on the floor, all that other stuff doesn’t really matter to me. Everything, all that stuff, from distractions to that type of stuff really don’t matter because I get to do something I love and I can’t wait to get back out there and be fully cleared to play, but to be honest man, my main thing is just getting rid of distractions no matter what and focusing on what I have to do. I just can’t wait to play the game I love again, that’s all I’m focused on.”
Restricted free agent guard Norris Cole is the top remaining free agent the New Orleans Pelicans are making a push to re-sign, sources said Saturday afternoon. The Pelicans can match any offer Cole receives, but the Pelicans have committed a portion of their $5.5 million mid-level exception after small forward forward Dante Cunningham agreed to a three-year, $9 million deal on Saturday afternoon. The Pelicans also have their full $2.1 million bi-annual exception still available.
Asked about reports that he has been approached by representatives from Olimpia Milano — imagine Datome on the other side when the Celtics open their exhibition season in Milan against that team on Oct. 6 — Datome dismissed the talk as premature. “It’s very early because (NBA) free agency is so (early),” Datome said via phone from his home in Sardinia last week. “My agent told me that first the big players will sign, and then you have to wait. I’ve waited more than two months to get here, so I can wait two more.” “My agent is listening to proposals from European teams, and right now we’re not saying no to anyone. But I still want to see if anyone in the NBA wants to sign me.”
“I want to thank the Celtics and Coach Stevens because they gave me the opportunity,” Datome said. “I think I showed that I can play at this level. But if I play another year in the NBA, I would like to be one of those guys who plays every night.” Datome understands that he has to wait for these opportunities to take shape. His calls will come later this month. He admits that he can earn more money playing in Europe, where a nightly 35-minute role would be guaranteed. “There are some real opportunities in Europe,” he said. “But right now I am thinking about nothing.”
It’s unlikely that Justin Holiday returns to the defending champion Warriors. The reserve guard, brother of Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, is expected to sign a free agent contract with another club. Holiday was undrafted and on the Warriors’ roster for the entire season, playing 59 games and averaging 4.3 points. The Warriors have so much guard depth, Holiday is forced to look for more playing time elsewhere.
The Jazz still have not signed Lyles, the 12th pick of the June 25 draft, as the team continues to explore transaction options with his lower cap hold and to work on minor contract details with his agent. The Jazz are not commenting on when things might be resolved with Lyles, so it remains uncertain whether he’ll be available for the Utah-hosted summer league, which begins Monday night. Lyles’ cap hold is at 100 percent of the rookie salary scale, which is $1,866,500. He’ll eventually be paid at 120 percent of the rookie scale ($2,239,800), but Utah can use the difference for a trade or a free agent signing before he inks the deal.
A few minutes ago, I received the following from Aldridge: Dear Rip City, Thank you! Those two words on a page don’t begin to express the gratitude I have for the opportunity the entire Trail Blazers organization, my teammates, the media, and you fans gave me. The past nine years have been a blessing, and I will take all of the valuable memories with me as I head back home.
Aldridge: As I’m sure you can respect, my decision was a very personal one but not one I took lightly. Although I will be wearing a different uniform the next time I come back to Portland, please know that I will always hold my time in a Blazers uniform near and dear to my heart. Your friend, LA