First Cup: Tuesday

June, 26, 2012
6/26/12
5:42
AM ET
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: The Orlando Magic continued their front-office housecleaning Monday, firing Adonal Foyle after two seasons as the team's director of player development. Foyle, 37, played two seasons for the Magic and also was injured for the entire 2009-10 season. He retired in 2010 and was hired as the Magic's director of player development. His dismissal is the latest move to restructure the Magic's front office. On Sunday, new Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan fired Assistant General Manager Dave Twardzik and six scouts. Foyle's dismissal is something of a surprise. For weeks, many outside the organization assumed he would be mentored by the Magic's new GM.
  • Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News: Spurs general manager R.C Buford couldn’t let Danny Ferry take off for Atlanta without a final parting shot. “I don’t know how we’re going to make the pick at 59 without him,” Buford joked, referring to the Spurs’ slot in Thursday’s draft. Ferry, the Spurs’ vice president of basketball operations during his second tour with the team, was named the new general manager of the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. It was a day Buford had been anticipating since 2010, when Ferry returned to the Spurs after five mostly successful but somewhat tumultuous seasons as the general manager in Cleveland. “I’m happy he’s found a program he’s excited to go lead,” Buford said. It was a process that played out over a period of three months, with Atlanta co-owner Bruce Levenson estimating he had dozens of talks with Ferry as the two discussed what it would take to pry him loose from San Antonio. ... Buford said there is “no timetable” for naming a replacement. “We’ve got good people here who are deeply involved in our core strategies,” Buford said. “We’ll address our structural needs in time.”
  • Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Three cheers for the Atlanta Hawks, and not just puny “hip, hips,” either. Make these full-throated “hoorays.” A franchise that has chosen wrong so often has finally done it right. It has hired a basketball man of impeccable pedigree and plans to get out of his way. Danny Ferry has done two tours with the San Antonio Spurs, the gold standard of NBA organizations, and in between he was general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who played for the NBA title in 2007 and won 66 games in 2008-2009. That Ferry has chosen to become GM of the Hawks says he’s sold on an organization that has, to be frank, been the toughest of sells. ... If you’re looking for a Ferry credo, this will do: “We want to be a value-based franchise.” If you’re seeking an assurance that these owners, who have spent nearly a decade alienating their constituency, are serious about changing, know that Ferry asked Levenson, “Are you willing to do this the right way?” — and was satisfied with the answer.
  • Al Iannazzone of Newsday: Jeremy Lin has been working out in California and recently had dinner with Carmelo Anthony , Tyson Chandler and Mike Woodson on the West Coast. It's a good sign for the Knicks , Lin's health and his future with the team that he's been training -- as well as spending time and developing chemistry and camaraderie with two of the franchise's cornerstones and the coach. Lin will be a restricted free agent Sunday, but Woodson, who flew out to California to visit that trio and Landry Fields , fully expects Lin to be a Knick next season. "Absolutely," Woodson said at the Ahmad Rashad Golf Classic benefiting White Plains Hospital.
  • Staff of The Dallas Morning News: On Deron Williams narrowing it down to the Mavericks and the Nets: Eddie Sefko: “I think Mark Cuban has the edge here. I mean you’re looking at a guy who has very good ties to Dallas. His wife is from here. His mom is from the area. There is no state income tax. When you’re talking about 70-80 million dollars, then the state income tax kind of has a big impact. I think there are a lot things for him to like. With that said, the Nets aren’t going to lay over. They’ve got plenty of money to throw at him.”
  • Ronald Tillery of The Commercial-Appeal: The Grizzlies looked Monday at the possibility of adding a two-time NBA champion to their roster as a free agent. But don't let the resume fool you. Adam Morrison, 27, spent the past two years playing in Europe and was considered an NBA bust after the Charlotte Bobcats made him the third overall pick in the 2006 draft. The 6-8 small forward last played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers. He primarily sat on the bench during two straight title runs in 2009 and 2010. But the Griz wanted to see if Morrison recaptured the shooting ability that earned him that high lottery selection out of Gonzaga. Morrison never panned out for the Bobcats, having endured a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in 2007 and unyielding criticism for shooting 37 percent in four NBA seasons. Morrison was one of several former NBA players auditioning for the Grizzlies.
  • Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel: This is the time of the year for Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond to put on his trader's hat. He has done it every June since joining the Bucks in 2008, sometimes on draft day and sometimes a day or two before the draft. But he swears this time it might - no promises now - be different. The Bucks have the No. 12 pick in Thursday's NBA draft and are hoping to land a rotation player to help them regain their footing in the Eastern Conference. They want to go back to the playoffs, a destination last attained during the 2009-'10 season. "We have done this over the last couple years. We've made a major trade at the draft," Hammond said. "And to be honest with you, we're hoping not to do something like that. I remember saying (last year), 'We're doing too much of this.' Whatever we can do to improve our team we're going to do. But we've got some pieces we think we can move forward with. We like our team."
  • John Mitchell of The Philadelphia Inquirer: On Monday afternoon, Danny Ferry signed a six-year deal to become the Atlanta Hawks general manager for the next six seasons, meaning that Thorn, who still has a year left on his contract, continues to be the head man in the organization until further notice. According to a source reached on Monday, Thorn, who still has a full year remaining on his contract with the Sixers, will continue in this capacity while a search for his successor continues. “Can’t imagine that right now they would just turn over the draft and what they are going to do in the short amount of time that they have now,” the source said. According to the source, the Sixers are formulating a succession plan for Thorn. When a replacement is eventually identified, Thorn will remain with the team as an advisor. When asked about the situation in Atlanta, where Ferry replaced former general manager Rick Sund, the source said, “Two totally different situations. Sund’s contract expires at the end of the month. Rod’s doesn’t.”
  • John Canzano of The Oregonian: Kevin Pritchard did not return calls seeking comment on Monday. But keep watch on the Pacers in the next 24 hours and on Sunday, turn an eye toward three-time All-Star Roy, who is an unrestricted free agent. Pritchard loves Roy's game, and was close with Roy, who he traded for on draft day in 2006. Yahoo! NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski briefly outlined some quick suitors for Roy on Monday, including Dallas, Chicago and Minnesota as well as Indiana. Woj previously speculated that Bird was sticking around for another season and pushing to promote Pritchard to GM. It probably doesn't go down that cleanly. Walsh's return to Indiana raises eyebrows. And it feels more and more like Thursday's draft in could be run by Pritchard, the guy who once set a league record for trades on a draft day with the Blazers. Several Indiana media outlets called me Monday night to ask about Pritchard's time in Portland, and his connection with Roy, as they scrambled to make sense of what feels like imminent changes with the Pacers.
  • Doug Smith of the Toronto Star: It is going to be difficult for the Raptors to lower the excitement level of fans about the impending arrival of NBA rookie Jonas Valanciunas when team officials seem to be having a hard time doing it themselves. Senior executive Ed Stefanski, who along with president Bryan Colangelo and coach Dwane Casey saw Valanciunas play for Lithuania against Great Britain on Saturday in Houston, fairly gushed when he was asked about their young seven-footer. “The fans are going to be excited,” Stefanski said after the Raptors put a six-pack of second-round draft prospects through a workout at the Air Canada Centre on Monday. “I’m excited. I have to temper my own expectations.”
  • Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic: The Suns' intensifying interest in Mississippi State power forward Arnett Moultrie raised eyebrows for more than just the rise Moultrie has enjoyed from the 20s on most draft boards a few weeks ago. While the Suns still have a high interest in North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall and a few wing players like Saturday visitor Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut, they brought back Moultrie for a second in-town workout on Sunday and visited his family in Memphis last week. Moultrie is an intriguing mix of athleticism, skill and nasty for the Suns' 13th pick, but Phoenix has four big men under contract (Marcin Gortat, Channing Frye, Hakim Warrick and last year's first-round pick, Markieff Morris) and has stated that it intends to match any offer sheet for restricted free agent Robin Lopez. In briefing media on the Suns' draft preparation Monday, General Manager Lance Blanks indicated that the current depth at big man would not prevent the Suns from drafting another one in Thursday night's draft. "If that means duplication at a spot, so be it," Blanks said.
  • Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune: Once free agency starts July 1, forward Paul Millsap will attempt to negotiate a multiyear contract extension with the Jazz. If a deal can't be reached, a variety of options will be explored. The only thing that'll change this scenario is if Millsap is traded before free agency begins. The six-year veteran wants to continue his career with Utah and hopes he can find middle ground with the Jazz. Millsap, 27, will be eligible to sign an extension in mid-July. He averaged 16.6 points and a career-high 8.8 rebounds last season, starting 62 games while rivaling center Al Jefferson as Utah's most valuable player.
  • Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee: Internet rumblings had the Houston Rockets, who have the 14th and 16th picks, looking to move up and possibly trading with Sacramento. The Kings and Rockets have been trade partners in recent seasons. What's unclear is if the Kings would make such a deal without unloading one of their higher-paid players or if the Rockets would move a player such as Kyle Lowry or Samuel Dalembert.
  • Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times: The knee brace wasn’t immediately visible beneath Iman Shumpert’s baggy shorts. The New York Knicks guard stood poised in the middle of the gym where he starred at Oak Park-River Forest High School, matched up against a youngster attending his camp in an impromptu game of one-on-one. Shumpert shot long jumpers and hopped on his good knee while working up enough sweat to stain his shirt. Derrick Rose hasn’t talked about tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee or undergoing surgery that is expected to take six to nine months to recover from, but another rising NBA star from the Chicago area can lend perspective. Shumpert suffered a similar injury to his same knee a few hours after Rose collapsed under the basket at the United Center on April 28. “I was in a lot of pain,” Shumpert said. “When they finally told me [about Rose] for the first time, I smiled. It was weird. It wasn’t me smiling like I’m happy somebody else got hurt. It was just, what are the chances D-Rose gets hurt and 20 minutes later I get hurt?”
  • Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press: Ricky Rubio, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in March, is returning to Spain on Tuesday to continue his rehabilitation program in his hometown of Barcelona. Kahn said last month that if Rubio went home for the summer, a Wolves trainer would go with him to help supervise his workouts. Rubio had a second visit last week in Vail, Colo., with Dr. Richard Steadman, who performed the surgery on March 21. Rubio tore the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee and is in the midst of a six- to nine-month recovery.

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