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NBA Rumors for Saturday, June 27
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:00 p.m. ET. More stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
The San Antonio Spurs are operating under the premise that Tim Duncan will return in 2015-16 for a 19th NBA season, according to league sources. Although Duncan and fellow Spurs mainstay Manu Ginobili have yet to make formal declarations about their plans for next season, sources said that the Spurs are optimistic about re-signing both at salaries that will allow the team to re-sign prized restricted free agent Kawhi Leonard this summer and to pursue top-tier free agent LaMarcus Aldridge. ESPN.com
As ESPN.com reported last month and again this week, San Antonio sits atop Aldridge's list of preferred destinations if, as widely expected, he chooses to leave the Portland Trail Blazers this summer. A source told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard earlier this week that Aldridge is "99.9 percent gone" from the Blazers. ESPN.com also reported this week that the Los Angeles Lakers have moved past the Dallas Mavericks in terms of potential landing spots for Aldridge, who played his high school ball in Dallas before starring collegiately closer to San Antonio at the University of Texas in Austin. ESPN.com
The Suns are adding former Villanova player Jason Fraser to their staff as a player development coach who will focus on the team's big men. Fraser's addition is the latest change to a Suns coaching staff that also added 13-year veteran point guard Earl Watson as an assistant coach specializing in player development and made Nate Bjorkgren, last season's head coach for D-League affiliate Bakersfield, a player development coach. Arizona Republic
Suns coach Jeff Hornacek's staff returns assistant coaches Jerry Sichting and Mike Longabardi and player development assistant Irving Roland while Corey Gaines was moved from player development to assistant coach. Mark West, an assistant coach for the past two seasons, is returning to front office work in player relations. Arizona Republic
The Orlando Magic have named Adrian Griffin, Monte Mathis, Mario Elie and Conner Henry assistant coaches. In addition, Laron Profit and Jay Hernandez will remain as assistant coaches/player development, completing Scott Skiles’ coaching staff. Griffin has spent the last five seasons (2010-15) as an assistant coach with Chicago. During the summer of 2014, he worked with the USA Basketball Men’s National Team that captured the gold medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Prior to joining the Bulls, he served as assistant coach/player development for two seasons (2008-10) with Milwaukee under Scott Skiles. InsideHoops
The German Basketball Federation announced today that Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen will join the coaching staff of the German men’s national team this summer. He will join Head Coach Chris Fleming during the preparation heading into the European Championship, also known as EuroBasket 2015, from Sept. 5 – 20. The preliminary round featuring Germany, Spain, Serbia, Turkey, Italy and Iceland will be played in Berlin, Germany. The best four teams will advance to the final round in Lille, France. “Alex is a big asset for our national team,” said Head Coach Fleming. “He has proven at multiple places to be a coach who can develop young players. The dynamic improved performance of Rudy Gobert at the Jazz has a lot to do with the excellent work of Alex. He played for several years in Europe and is very well versed in international basketball.” InsideHoops
Wolves center Nikola Pekovic, who has battled chronic pain in his right ankle, will be in Minneapolis for rehab beginning July 1. Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders called it a positive step. ... Viewership of the NBA draft matched its highest ratings ever on ESPN, but the Twin Cities were not among the top 10 local markets. St. Paul Pioneer Press
Because unless Croatian wing Mario Hezonja is the second coming of Manu Ginobili or Hennigan scores this summer in free agency ... the Magic will return with basically the same cast. It will be all about improvement by individuals from within, and Scott Skiles working miracles, especially on defense. Orlando Sentinel
Hundreds of mourners packed a Philadelphia funeral home Friday to honor Harvey Pollack, the longtime NBA employee and statistics icon who died Tuesday at the age of 93. Friends, family and colleagues described a man who loved basketball, statistics and, most of all, his family. Pollack began his career in 1946 with the Philadelphia Warriors and worked the last 28 years as the 76ers’ director of statistical information.
Among the six people who eulogized Pollack was Hall of Famer Julius Erving. AP
The Brooklyn Nets acquired the draft rights to forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and guard Steve Blake from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for center Mason Plumlee and the draft rights to guard/forward Pat Connaughton, Nets GM Billy King announced Thursday. “We are very excited to add Rondae to our roster,” said King. “He is the type of athletic wing we were looking for, and we felt he was the best defensive player in the draft.” “I also wanted to thank Mason for his time with the Nets and wish him the best with his new team. Mason worked extremely hard from the first time he stepped on the court in training camp last year, and I am sure he will have a long and successful career.” InsideHoops
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