NBA Rumors: Houston Rockets chasing Frank Vogel as head coach, can he handle James Harden?

Frank Vogel was unceremoniously fired as head coach by the Indiana Pacers despite his success with the team the last few seasons. Other NBA teams are now chasing the veteran mentor, with one West team, the Houston Rockets showing interest according to NBA rumors.

Recently J.B. Bickerstaff, who was the interim head coach taking over after Kevin McHale was fired earlier in the regular season, withdrew his name to be considered for the head coaching job in Houston. According to NBA rumors, Bickerstaff would rather settle for an assistant head coach job with other NBA teams rather than be the head coach of the team whose franchise player is James Harden.

Vogel, who is now being linked to the Rockets, will now consider Bickerstaff’s alleged problem with the team’s superstar, who is known for his scoring but has been criticized for being lazy on the defensive end and not being a leader on the court for his team.

Vogel has been with the Pacers from 2007 to 2011 as an assistant and from 2011 to 2016 as the head coach. According to NBA rumors, Vogel appealed to Larry Bird, the former Boston Celtics great and current Pacers president, to reconsider firing him from the team. Bird and the Pacers reportedly were decided to move into another direction and look for a new head coach.

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Vogel landing in Houston can be seen as a good news for Rockets fans. But with NBA rumors of James Harden’s attitude, some prospect coaches may be hesitant to sign in Houston if they can’t handle the Rockets star. However, Vogel is a respected and established coach already and could have a good relationship with Harden.

NBA Rumors: Jeremy Lin finally speaks about his decision in the off-season

Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin finally breaks his silence regarding endless NBA rumors who are saying that he will be playing for another team next season.

Based on a previous report, Lin signed a two-year deal worth $4.374 million with the Charlotte Hornets before the start of the 2015-16 season and he has a player option for the 2016-17 season. This means that Lin can explore the free agency market and play for another franchise next season.

However, according to a report from The Charlotte Observer, the Asian-American guard expressed his desire to re-sign with the Charlotte Hornets this summer.

“I would love to,” Lin said Monday. “I don’t like moving every year, I don’t like packing and unpacking boxes. So we’ll see. But I’m definitely interested in coming back.”

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Before joining the Charlotte Hornets in the current season, Jeremy Lin played for the New York Knicks, the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers. His performance with the Hornets was undeniably much better than when he was with other teams.

Though there were past rumors saying that Lin was not happy with the playing time given to him by coach Steve Clifford, Lin confirmed that he was enjoying playing with his teammates and his coach.

“I definitely want to play with these guys and this coach,” Lin said, referring to Steve Clifford. “When you bounce around a lot the way I have, seeing a lot of organizations, there’s a lot about this one that I can appreciate in terms of my experience, that maybe I didn’t have in other situations.

“From the (preseason) China trip we knew this team really got along. I kind of expected there’d be bumps and bruises along the way as far as guys getting along with each other, but really there wasn’t. I’ve never seen a group of guys at the professional level (where) all the guys 1 through 15 got along together. It wasn’t uncommon for all 15 of us to do something together.”

“That’s really, really rare.”

The Hornets guard also cleared the fact that he is very much willing to re-sign with the team regardless of how much he will be paid, adding that money was never been the most important thing to him. Signing for only more than $2 million per season can explain how much Lin wanted to play for a team where he can excel and unleash his full potential.

With this, it can be concluded that Jeremy Lin will be playing for the Charlotte Hornets next season.

Photo courtesy: jlin7/Instagram

NBA Rumors: Jeremy Lin not Hornets top priority this offseason

The Charlotte Hornets will have a lot of decisions to make regarding their free agents this offseason. According to the latest rumors, the Hornets’ number one priority will be Nicolas Batum and not Jeremy Lin.

Hornets general manager Rich Cho told the Charlotte Observer that the team’s top priority this season will be re-signing Batum to a new contract. In his first season in Charlotte, Batum averaged 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists despite suffering a couple of injuries.

“Nic is a huge piece. He is our No. 1 offseason priority. He knows that. We told him that in our exit interviews. We love having him here, thought he did a great job this year. He had a few injuries, but overall he did a great job at both ends of the floor. He also did a great job in the locker room,” Cho said.

Related NBA Rumors: Jeremy Lin a target of Minnesota Timberwolves this offseason?

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The 27-year-old Frenchman mentioned during a media conference that he wants to talk first with the Hornets once the free agency period starts on July 1. “I want to talk to them (the Hornets) first, for sure. July 1 will be a crazy day, but will Charlotte be my first call? Yes,” he said via ESPN.

Besides Batum, the Hornets other free agents Troy Daniels, Jorge Gutierrez, Tyler Hansbrough, Al Jefferson, Courtney Lee, Marvin Williams, and Jeremy Lin, who will opt of his contract. According to USA Today, the Hornets’ sixth man this season will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason but wants to sign a longer deal with Charlotte.

Related NBA Rumors: Jeremy Lin signing with the Brooklyn Nets is the perfect offseason plan

In a post on his official Facebook page, the 27-year-old guard thanked the fans in Charlotte and addressed his plans in free agency. Lin came in seventh in this season’s Sixth Man of the Year voting after averaging  11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists off the Hornets bench.

“For free agency, I will seek out every opportunity that gives me the greatest chance to be the best player I can be. I believe I’m just getting started. I have more to give and more to accomplish,” Jeremy Lin wrote.

Photo Courtesy: HugoTHornet/Wikimedia

NBA Rumors: Lakers owner admits they’ll aim for star veterans (Cousins, Durant?) rather than add young guys (Simmons, Ingram?) next season

Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Jim Buss is ready to move to actually contending for a playoff spot rather than rebuild with young players, according to a recent interview. This will put the Lakers in a situation this offseason where they will be involved in a lot of NBA rumors of the Hollywood franchise targeting the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Al Horford and DeMar DeRozan either in free agency or via trades.

“Right now, I think our young guys are the perfect number and we will add solid veterans,” Buss said via Basketball Insiders.

The Lakers co-owner also mentioned that there are a number of players in the Lakers roster that will be part of the team long-term as part of the team’s core but could still be part of NBA rumors as they try to explore the trade market.

“There’s five to me – solid, core players we can work with and build on. “I like Marcelo [Huertas], I think in the right system he might be a good fit. And Tarik Black, I like him. He could be a rotational player.”

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Aside from Huertas and Black, other players expected to be in L.A. are Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, who is a free agent but expected to stay with the Lakers this offseason.

The Lakers are in a very good position this summer with a few big trades assets, including a projected No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The L.A. squad also have a big salary cap space with the expiring contracts of Kobe Bryant and Roy Hibbert.

According to projections the Lakers might have about $50 million to $60 million in cap space, which is enough to chase two top free agents on a maximum salary.

This is where the NBA rumors of the Lakers signing the likes of Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan and Al Horford, among others will come in. Most free agents like the idea of getting to a winning team and the Lakers can sell their developing young guys and pairing them with other veterans as their way of getting back into playoff contention.

NBA News: D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson included? Jim Buss names players who will stay with the Lakers for the 2016-17 NBA season

Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Jim Buss listed the names of the players he will most likely want to be part of the team’s roster for the 2016-17 NBA season.

Lakers, who are currently undergoing the rebuilding process, are said to trade their future draft picks in order to get an NBA star for their team. The team’s first move after firing Byron Scott was to hire a new coach in Luke Walton. Many believe that Walton can reciprocate his success with the Warriors to the Lakers.

This could be possible if the Lakers will manage to sign a superstar free agent in the upcoming offseason. Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan and Hassan Whiteside are the top free agents listed on the Lakers target players.

However, the Lakers need to focus first with the current line up they have. According to a report from Basketball Insider, Jim Buss believes that the five core players, including D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Lou Williams, Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle, should be part of the Lakers roster next season. Though Clarkson will become a restricted free agent on July, Buss confirms that the team will re-sign Clarkson.

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Aside from the five core players, Buss is also looking forward to see other players to be part of the rebuilding process.

“I like Marcelo [Huertas], I think in the right system he might be a good fit […] And Tarik Black, I like him. He could be a rotational player,” said Buss of the second-year forward, yet another potential restricted free agent.”

Buss did not give details about their plans to other players like Nick Young and Robert Sacre. There are rumors that the Lakers are currently making negotiations with other NBA teams to trade some of their players but they are still unsuccessful to make the deal.

However, if they manage to offer their top picks in the 2016 NBA draft together with other players, there will surely be some teams that will be interested in the trade. If the team grab the desired target in the free agency and trade block, the Lakers are expected to be having stronger line up next season.

Photo courtesy: Bridget Samuels/Wikimedia

NBA Rumors: Lakers considering Harrison Barnes as “PLAN B” if failed to get target superstars

Rumors and speculations are now swirling with the Los Angeles Lakers who are said to be targeting Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes to sign for the team if they failed to get their preferred superstars in the free agency market.

Barnes is set to become a restricted free agent and expected to demand a maximum salary. Many believe that the Warriors starting small forward will get a lot of suitors as soon as he declares to leave the Warriors and play for another franchise next season.

“I think he’s capable of averaging 18 a game here if the Lakers sign him and brought him here,” Thompson said via Inside the Warriors. “I think he could be more of a featured scorer, maybe a No. 2 option, maybe even a No. 1 on certain nights. He’s capable of putting up in the high-20s. He’s a very good shooter, can get to the basket, very athletic. He just hasn’t been asked to do very much in Golden State, but coming here, he’d be asked to do more, and I think he could.”

Based on a previous report, Lakers are also showing interest so sign Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli in the upcoming off-season. Their names may not have created much noise in the list of the incoming free agents but they were undeniably part of the reigning NBA champion and part of the team who recently beat the legendary ’95-96 Chicago Bulls record.

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If the Lakers failed to get Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan, they must consider signing Barnes since they are in need of a consistent small forward for their team. Luke Walton’s former position in the Golden State Warriors can be a big factor in making Barnes sign for the Lakers.

However, the decision is still with the Warriors’ hands since Barnes is a restricted free agent. They only need to match the offer by any NBA teams that would want to sign him in the upcoming off-season to reacquire the service of Barnes.

On the other hand, the Lakers still have a lot of choices since there are many superstars who will become the free agent in the upcoming off-season. All they need is to make an intense study on how to lure their preferred players to sign for their team.

John Elway says @Broncos are out of the Colin Kaepernick chase after drafting Paxton Lynch. https://t.co/wJofspRiOF pic.twitter.com/5K8XjMkXWM

— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) April 29, 2016

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

NBA Rumors: Houston Rockets chasing Frank Vogel as head coach, can he handle James Harden?

Frank Vogel was unceremoniously fired as head coach by the Indiana Pacers despite his success with the team the last few seasons. Other NBA teams are now chasing the veteran mentor, with one West team, the Houston Rockets showing interest according to NBA rumors.

Recently J.B. Bickerstaff, who was the interim head coach taking over after Kevin McHale was fired earlier in the regular season, withdrew his name to be considered for the head coaching job in Houston. According to NBA rumors, Bickerstaff would rather settle for an assistant head coach job with other NBA teams rather than be the head coach of the team whose franchise player is James Harden.

Vogel, who is now being linked to the Rockets, will now consider Bickerstaff’s alleged problem with the team’s superstar, who is known for his scoring but has been criticized for being lazy on the defensive end and not being a leader on the court for his team.

Vogel has been with the Pacers from 2007 to 2011 as an assistant and from 2011 to 2016 as the head coach. According to NBA rumors, Vogel appealed to Larry Bird, the former Boston Celtics great and current Pacers president, to reconsider firing him from the team. Bird and the Pacers reportedly were decided to move into another direction and look for a new head coach.

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Vogel landing in Houston can be seen as a good news for Rockets fans. But with NBA rumors of James Harden’s attitude, some prospect coaches may be hesitant to sign in Houston if they can’t handle the Rockets star. However, Vogel is a respected and established coach already and could have a good relationship with Harden.

Top 5 Centers in 2016 NBA Free Agency: Hassan Whiteside, Andre Drummond lead big men available this summer

Two athletic and defensively elite centers are set to be paid big time in the 2016 NBA free agency, thanks to an impressive statistical season and how they have fared in the regular season and the playoffs.

Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons and Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat will be two of the highly coveted players this summer though they’ll have different free agent statuses as both aims for long-term lucrative deals, the first in their respective NBA careers.

Both Drummond and Whiteside are elite big men in the league, thanks to their ability to efficiently finish baskets around the rim with their athleticism and an elite shot-blocking talent that has discouraged opponents in attacking the paint.

The 22-year-old Drummond is a restricted free agent (RFA), which means that teams interested must outbid the Pistons with a huge contract and a more likable destination. Likely landing on a maximum deal, the Pistons can match—and are expected to match—to retain his services in this 2016 NBA free agency.

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Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Whiteside is an unrestricted free agent (UFA), which means he is free to choose his next NBA team and the Heat can do nothing if he decides to jump ship this summer.

Below is the list of top free agent centers and their stats in the current season:

Al Jefferson (Charlotte Hornets)
2015-2016 season (47 games): 12.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots in 23.3 minutes per game

Jefferson is an UFA and the Hornets are not too keen in bringing him back to their roster. The veteran center earned $13.5 million this season and it’s likely that he could be had for a contract lesser than than because of the dip in his play.

Festus Ezeli (Golden State Warriors)
2015-2016 season (46 games): 7.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots in 16.7 minutes per game

Ezeli is one of the under-the-radar free agent centers this summer with various teams, including Luke Walton’s Los Angeles Lakers, reportedly interested in the big man. Ezeli has played limited minutes for the Warriors playing behind starting center Andrew Bogut but he is seen as a player with more value especially if he can earn a starting spot in any NBA team.

Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets)
2015-2016 season (71 games): 13.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots in 32.1 minutes per game

Howard is a top free agent if not for his attitude and history. There are questions as well with how healthy he can be as he searches for his last max deal in the NBA. The Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks and even former team, Orlando Magic are reportedly interested in signing him this offseason but at what price?

Hassan Whiteside (Miami Heat)
2015-2016 season (73 games): 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots in 29.1 minutes per game

Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
2015-2016 season (81 games): 16.2 points, 14.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots in 32.9 minutes per game

The Heat badly wants to retain him especially with the great season and current NBA Playoffs. Same with Drummond, who despite his poor free throw shooting, is still an elite big man in the league. The Pistons will give him the max deal and barring any current issues with him and his coaches and teammates, he is expected to stay in Detroit this summer.

Other centers available in the 2016 NBA free agency are free agents ), Timofey Mozgov (Cleveland Cavaliers), Roy Hibbert (Los Angeles Lakers), Donatas Motiejunas (Houston Rockets), Tyler Zeller (Boston Celtics), Zaza Pachulia (Dallas Mavericks), Nene (Washington Wizards), Ian Mahinmi (Indiana Pacers), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves), and Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls), among others.

Photo Courtesy: Haber garaj/Flickr

Boston Celtics Update: Danny Ainge expects something ‘Big’ this summer?

For Boston Celtics president for basketball operations Danny Ainge the offseason is the most crucial for any team in the NBA and this offseason is no different as the 57-year-old executive hints of something “big” to come this summer.

Ainge: "We want to take the next step. The next step is the most challenging in our business… We're in position to do something."

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 5, 2016

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The BYU standout told the media during Wednesday’s end-of-season news conference at the team’s training facility that patience combined with a little bit of luck will for sure bring good things to their rebuilding cause. In a report by ESPN, he added that the NBA lottery on May 17 will for sure be an exciting one and if luck favors them, for sure the skies in Boston will all be filled with fireworks.

“We look forward to every offseason. This offseason is bigger. My expectations are high this offseason. And yet I also know that it takes good fortune. We need the ping pong balls to bounce our way [at the draft lottery on May 17] to give us the best opportunity. Whether we use that pick or whether we trade that pick, and in free agency, we have opportunities. And that’s all we have,” Ainge said.

He also explained that there are no full guarantees of great things to come their way, but they have already laid out their back up plans that will for sure help in the upgrading of the team and getting better opportunities as well. He admitted that he was a bit frustrated as to how they exited this year’s season but hopes that their players would be able to bounce back from their respective injuries so that they could surpass their performance this year.

The Celtics had a good run this season, despite having no superstar on their roster they were able to survive some of the toughest matches that they had. They finished the regular season with a decent 48-34 win-loss record and they also had a good run in the postseason which did not go their way as they bowed to the Atlanta Hawks.

“We didn’t accomplish what we wanted to accomplish. I was a little bit disappointed in the last couple games of the playoffs, but I thought it was a really fun year, a really exciting year. I enjoyed it and I think our fans enjoyed the spirit of our team. But we all want to be playing for more important things and go deeper in the playoffs and that’s what we’re still on a path to,” Ainge explained.

He also went to the social media as he stated that for any rookie that they will pick, that player should be pact and built with a lot of toughness inside since the Boston Celtics is built on toughness ever since and their long history is the living testament to that. The Celtics has 17 NBA championship titles, 21 conference titles and 21 division titles.

Ainge on team: "We have a lot of tough guys, that's sort of our identity. You're not gonna fit in (w/ this team) if you're not a tough kid."

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 5, 2016

Ainge was also straight forward in stating that they are giving it a go to pursue top free agents Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside and Al Horford and hopes that the Celtics tradition would be enough to lure any of the top free agents.

“There are many factors. And some places people want to be closer to the sun, closer to equator, and I think that there are just a lot of factors. But I do think that we are and we will be attractive to some free agents,” Ainge stressed.

Aside from looking ahead of the team’s future, Ainge has formally announced that their ace point guard Isaiah Thomas will represent their franchise to the lottery and with 15.6 percent chance to land the No.1 overall pick, Ainge is hoping Thomas can bring the Green some luck.

Danny Ainge on sending Isaiah Thomas as team’s podium presence at Draft Lottery: “He’s our leprechaun” pic.twitter.com/dtjTeeFHvu

— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) May 4, 2016

Photo Courtesy: Danny Ainge @danielrainge/Twitter

NBA News: D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson included? Jim Buss names players who will stay with the Lakers for the 2016-17 NBA season

Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Jim Buss listed the names of the players he will most likely want to be part of the team’s roster for the 2016-17 NBA season.

Lakers, who are currently undergoing the rebuilding process, are said to trade their future draft picks in order to get an NBA star for their team. The team’s first move after firing Byron Scott was to hire a new coach in Luke Walton. Many believe that Walton can reciprocate his success with the Warriors to the Lakers.

This could be possible if the Lakers will manage to sign a superstar free agent in the upcoming offseason. Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan and Hassan Whiteside are the top free agents listed on the Lakers target players.

However, the Lakers need to focus first with the current line up they have. According to a report from Basketball Insider, Jim Buss believes that the five core players, including D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Lou Williams, Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle, should be part of the Lakers roster next season. Though Clarkson will become a restricted free agent on July, Buss confirms that the team will re-sign Clarkson.

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Aside from the five core players, Buss is also looking forward to see other players to be part of the rebuilding process.

“I like Marcelo [Huertas], I think in the right system he might be a good fit […] And Tarik Black, I like him. He could be a rotational player,” said Buss of the second-year forward, yet another potential restricted free agent.”

Buss did not give details about their plans to other players like Nick Young and Robert Sacre. There are rumors that the Lakers are currently making negotiations with other NBA teams to trade some of their players but they are still unsuccessful to make the deal.

However, if they manage to offer their top picks in the 2016 NBA draft together with other players, there will surely be some teams that will be interested in the trade. If the team grab the desired target in the free agency and trade block, the Lakers are expected to be having stronger line up next season.

Photo courtesy: Bridget Samuels/Wikimedia