The latest in the Roger Mason sweepstakes is that the Grizzlies are interested in his services, according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Around the NBA, some team officials are privately wondering: After listening to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich disparage them over Pau Gasol’s trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, would the Memphis Grizzlies be hesitant on making a deal with the Spurs?
After all, veteran shooter Roger Mason is available in San Antonio and Memphis needs some scoring off its bench. Yes, sources say, the Grizzlies do have an interest with Mason and have the cap space to absorb much of his $3.7 million salary. But a league source says Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace still needs the OK from owner Michael Heisley to take on the contract.
While there are players on the Grizzlies roster that make around the same that Mason makes like Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol, Memphis would be crazy to give either up in return for Mason. Although, Chris Wallace is the GM.
Journeyman center Steven Hunter might be a more realistic trade acquisition, especially because he has an expiring contract. But for Mason, I'd want at least Darrell Arthur or Sam Young, but Memphis would have to give up a lot or take on a lot more salary to make that happen.
Be sure to visit the Project Spurs Trade Central for all the latest trade rumors.
The Spurs were hoping to tempt Miami into absorbing Mason's $3.8 million expiring contract into a $4.3 million trade exception that would have enabled the teams to complete a deal without San Antonio needing to take back another player. A future second-round pick from the Heat would have completed the transaction.
But the Heat, dealing with their own luxury-tax issues like San Antonio and reluctant to add to their payroll, ultimately declined.
And the trade exception in question -- created through the departure of Marcus Banks in Miami's Shawn Marion trade with Toronto on Feb. 15, 2009 -- expired Monday at midnight.
The post goes on to say the Spurs and Mason have mutually agreed to pursue trades before tomorrow's deadline. Seems Mason could be headed to Miami should the Heat want to try to deal again.
Stay with Project Spurs for all the latest on the Spurs as the trade deadline nears.
Last week I had an opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with TNT/NBA analyst David Aldridge. With the Spurs lackluster play so far in the first half of their season and the future of Manu Ginobili on the minds of Spurs nation, I asked David his thoughts on these two topics. Enjoy!
Jeff: The Spurs had a great offseason, trading for Richard Jefferson, drafting DeJuan Blair, and signing Antonio McDyess. Yet here we are heading into the All-Star break and the Spurs seem to still be looking to turn the corner and get some consistency. What one thing can you point to as a reason for the lack consistency with the Spurs?
DA: I think it's their defense. Their defense is falling precipitously in the last couple of years. The way San Antonio won championships is it made it impossible for you to get to 90. You had to really struggle to score 90 points against them when they were good defensively. And so, they never had a great offensive team. This is the best offensive team they've ever had, but they don't win this way. This is not how they feel comfortable winning. This is not their system for winning. Their system for winning is with defense, and their defense has dropped. It's been a noticeable drop. And part of that is guys getting older, Tim Duncan's getting older. Obviously Bruce Bowen is not there anymore. He was a very important part of what they did defensively. And they really have struggled to find that right complementary piece, a big man for Duncan. Now they are using guys like Bonner and stretch more to shoot threes, but obviously I don't think I'm breaking any news here that Matt Bonner is not a great defensive player. He actually puts more pressure inside and puts more pressure on the rest of your team. You know, they just aren't as good defensively as they used to be.
Jeff: As we know, Manu Ginobili is in his last contract year with the Spurs and the Spurs still have not had contract extension discussions with Manu Ginobili. What seems to be the hold up and do you see the Spurs resigning Manu or perhaps trading him before the trade deadline?
DA:Well, the holdup is that they're not interested in giving him an extension. The Spurs have made it clear that they have a two-year window with this group that they have now because that's when Duncan's contract expires and they feel like this year and next year are the years they are willing to pay luxury tax to be competitive and try to win a championship. So they're not going to get Manu Ginobili a three-year or four-year extension. They're just not going to do it because they are looking at this year and next year, and then after next year they may as well have to break this team up and start moving people. I think Manu understands that. I'm sure he's not happy with it. He understands it and so he's going to go into free agency and see what's out there and if there are teams that are going to make him a good offer. I think he'll get some interest. I think there will be three or four teams that will have a lot of interest in Manu but it's a matter of whether he gives the Spurs the right opportunity to match whatever is out there or if he just walks. I think frankly the Spurs understand that they are in a position now where they have to prepare for the fact that he may not be there next year.
Do you agree with David's thoughts on these topics? Leave your comments.
Click HERE to read the complete Q&A with David Aldridge and his thoughts on other NBA teams.
In an article from SI.com, according to one Eastern conference executive, the Spurs are aggressively shopping Richard Jefferson but due to his $15.1 million contract and perhaps his less than stellar performance this year, seems no team is interested.
"They're trying, but there may not be a market for his contract," one Eastern Conference executive told SI.com.
Jefferson was touted as the missing piece for the Spurs to bring them back to the NBA Finals when he was acquired via trade from the Milwaukee Bucks this past summer. However, it has not worked out and has drawn the ire from fans and has even ran out the patience of the Spurs themselves. Not to mention he is having his lowest production since he was a rookie averaging 12.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
Stay with Project Spurs as we give you all the latest developments for the Spurs as the trade deadline nears this Thursday.
According to an article by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Spurs are looking to trade Antonio McDyess to make way for a possible trade with the Chicago Bulls to obtain Tyrus Thomas.
The Spurs have been searching for expiring deals to move McDyess, who will make $4.9 million next season and is guaranteed about $2.6 million in 2011-12. Trading McDyess would free minutes and give them greater flexibility to re-sign Thomas this summer if they want. Thomas would give the Spurs a younger, more athletic complement to Tim Duncan,and could be part of a future frontline with former first-round pick Tiago Splitter and rookie DeJuan Blair.
Currently, the Spurs have several players with expiring contracts which are attractive to other teams looking to clear cap space.
Keep coming back to Project Spurs for all the latest on the Spurs during the final days of the trade deadline.
According to the San Antonio Express News, the Spurs have not offered McDyess to any team.
Despite an Internet report indicating the Spurs have been shopping big man Antonio McDyess in order to facilitate a trade for Chicago forward Tyrus Thomas, league sources today told The Express-News the Spurs haven't offered the veteran forward to any team, even as talks heat up in advance of Thursday's NBA trade deadline.
Stay with Project Spurs as we provide all the latest information on the Spurs as the trade deadline nears this Thursday.
This week's mailbag comes from Joe who is not happy with Coach Pop.
"I have been a Spurs fan since 1968, my God Pop, what are you thinking. The game with the Lakers, Richard Jefferson is standing around without the ball, not moving, no spirit, no points to talk about. Is this what you spent your 15 million on? And now you want to trade Ginobili? Please he will take 6 million and still do what needs to be done with spirit. He gave us three rings Pop. Why do you not play Ratliff, or Ian Mahinmi? You need height! That is why you got these guys. Now you don't want to play them anymore, its not fair to them, and especially to Spurs fans. If you don't make the right changes you will not see anymore rings in your lifetime."
Not a happy Spurs Fan,
I am writing a future article about Pop but you made some significant points.
Let's talk about Richard Jefferson first. He is no doubt an over-paid player for what he is doing. On offense, he needs more isolation plays and the Spurs will probably need to run a little often to take advantage of his athletic ability. Enough of taking jump shots. We have plenty of them coming from Bonner, Mason and Finley.
On defense, he is doing a capable job but he should give more effort on getting some rebounds.
About Ginobili, he is no doubt one of the most popular Spurs and fans will hate to see him go. But if the Spurs would want something in return for him, he could be included in a possible trade since he is one of our most tradeable asset this season. But then again, there no serious talk about a Ginobili trade yet.
If the Spurs don't extend him this season, Manu will be a free agent in the summer where he can probably walk away with the Spurs not getting anything in return. But know this, not extending DOES NOT mean he is not going to be a Spur next season. The Spurs can still make him an offer to about six million a year for two years. However, when the time comes, it will be up to Ginobili.
On Ratliff and Mahinmi, the Spurs can use both of them for short stints to provide some energy and shot blocking presence. Ratliff has proven that he can still defend on short stretches and Mahinmi has shown potential but is not given enough minutes to be able to prove his worth on a consistent basis. Another reason for the lack of playing time for Ratliff and Mahinmi could be due to DeJuan Blair playing very well.
Bottom line, Pop still needs to make a lot of adjustments on the current rotation especially on defense and needs to utilize and maximize the talent of the this Spurs team.
Thanks for this question and I hope you are satisfied with my answers. Look for more light on your complaints about Pop when you read my future post on him this week.
Whether you agree or disagree with my answer, voice your opinions in the comment section.
In a recent article from Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express News, Tim Duncan mentioned he would like to play as long as he can.
Q - Do you have an idea how much longer you want to do this?
A -- I have one year, this year, and two more years after this. I think they're going to tell me to go home after that. That's what I'm planning on right now.
Q -- If you feel as good then as you do now would you want to keep going?
A - I'd love to play as long as I can. I want to be as effective on the court. I don't' want to be on the court just to be on the court. I'm a player. I'm a competitor. If I can do it the way I want to do it, yeah, I'll keep doing it."
If by "they" Duncan is referring to the Spurs organization, then they might have to reconsider. At 33 years old, this season Duncan is averaging 19.4 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 32.1 minutes per game. Not too bad for someone considered "over the hill" for NBA standards.
Granted he will be 35 years old by the time his contract is up, but Duncan is proving he can still be a force in the paint and be an integral piece to the Spurs.
We've seen other big men in the NBA be very effective in the twilight of their careers. Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the perfect example. Kareem at 33 years old averaged 26.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.8 blocks in 37.2 minutes. His numbers did start to have a decline after 33, but he was still very effective for the Lakers. Kareem played 20 seasons in the NBA, and retired at 42 years old. In his final season, Jabbar averaged 10.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 22.9 minutes per game. It also helped that Jabbar played with guys like Magic Johnson and James Worthy to prolong his career.
Will Duncan play until he is 42 years old? I highly doubt it, but Duncan is proving that age isn't slowing him down. So don't be surprised if Duncan plays a season or two extra after his current contract is done. And like Jabbar, Duncan has players in Tony Parker and DeJuan Blair to help prolong his career as well.
He was selected to his 13th All-Star game, and still draws the double-team. Not to mention, he has a pretty hefty mantle with four championships, three Finals MVPs and back to back MVPs among many other accomplishments.
In regards to his remaining years as a Spur, Duncan mentions he wants to "do it the way he wants to do it." The way he should do it is to go out on top, a champion, like another former big man in the NBA - David Robinson.
According to an article by Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News, Roger Mason's agent, Mark Bartelstein, clarified his comments about Mason's trade demand.
"It's not a trade demand," Bartelstein told the Express-News on Monday night. "It's simply, if there's an answer to the problem of not enough minutes, and everybody can come out good, they should look at that. That's all that's going on."
Bartelstein said Mason was "happy playing for (Gregg Popovich) and San Antonio has been good to him."
"It's just that players like to play," Bartelstein said.
Bartelstein insisted Mason would be comfortable finishing the season with the Spurs, should a suitable trading partner not be found.
With the trade deadline approaching this Thursday, Project Spurs will continue to monitor this and any other Spurs trade news. Please come back for all the latest in Spurs news.
According to the San Antonio Express News, one league executive expect the Spurs to contact the Miami Heat since the Heat are looking to move Udonis Haslem and Dorell Wright.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Roger Mason has asked to be traded and the Spurs are looking to accommodate him.
“Roger had a terrific season last year after the Spurs had a bunch of injuries, and now that everyone is back healthy and his minutes are limited, the Spurs are trying to do the right thing and find a good spot for him,” Mason’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.
According to the report, there is strong interest in Mason from other teams. Especially because he has an expiring contract which make him an even more attractive piece to make a trade possible.
This comes just days after Mason told Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News he wanted to stay in San Antonio for the remainder of his career and try to win a championship.
His minutes and numbers are down from last season. Last season he averaged 30 minutes a game and 12 points. This season, he is averaging 19 minutes a game and averaging 7.4 points. Mason is asking to be traded to a team where he can play a significant role.
With the trade deadline coming this Thursday, Project Spurs will keep an eye out on this and stay tuned to Project Spurs for all the latest Spurs' trade rumors.