NBA Rumors and News – August 7, 2009

Williams expected to sign deal soon

Wolves coaching search down to three finalists

Cavs likely to pass on Bowen

KNICKS TO SEE STACKHOUSEWilliams expected to sign deal soon

Sekou Smith – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hawks forward Marvin Williams always assumed the paparazzi was only for Hollywood types.

That is until the NBA version found its way to his doorstep this summer.

There were at least two premature reports about Williams, a restricted free agent, agreeing to and signing a new deal with the Hawks.

“It was crazy to look on the Internet and see stuff about me signing with the Hawks or that I was staying with the Hawks,” Williams said Thursday. “Yet there was never anyone quoted. It was always some anonymous person saying it was done or saying it was going to happen.

“The truth of the matter is, I still haven’t signed, yet.”

That’s a technicality Williams expects to take care of Friday afternoon now that he has agreed to a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Hawks, a deal that with incentives could be worth as much as $43 million. The official announcement is expected early next week.

There are no plans for a re-introduction ceremony like the one teammates and fellow free agents Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia attended last month, when they signed their new contracts, but Williams said he couldn’t be happier to be free of the summer’s free-agent frenzy.

“I knew from past years with Josh [Smith] and Josh [Childress] that this process could take some time,” Williams said. “But I was patient. I tried to be patient. And thankfully, things worked out.”

Williams said the sides were never as far apart as reported and that talks actually “got better” as the summer went on. As a restricted free agent, Williams could have accepted the Hawks’ qualifying offer of $7.5 million and become an unrestricted free agent in July 2010.

Wolves coaching search down to three finalists

The three finalists for the Minnesota Timberwolves coaching vacancy have distinctly different resumes.

No wonder it’s taking president David Kahn a long time to make a decision.

Kahn has spent the past seven weeks meticulously interviewing candidates and has settled on Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis, ESPN analyst Mark Jackson and Houston assistant Elston Turner.

The Timberwolves, who are coming off a 24-58 season and in the early stages of a significant rebuild, are the only team in the league without a head coach.

Rambis is the longtime Lakers assistant and the only candidate with head coaching experience in the NBA. He coached the Lakers during the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season and has filled in for Phil Jackson several times over the years.

Two different reports said Thursday that Rambis was on the brink of being offered and accepting the job. But when asked by The Associated Press if the two sides were getting close to a deal, Kahn replied in a text message, "No."

Kahn said Wednesday that he is in a position to "do something within a week" and would like one or two of the candidates to meet with owner Glen Taylor before a decision is made. The Los Angeles Times first reported that Rambis had traveled to the Twin Cities on Wednesday night to meet with Wolves officials, but it was not immediately clear if Mark Jackson or Turner would be asked to do the same.

A member of ESPN and ABC’s top broadcast team, Jackson probably edges Rambis as the biggest name in the group. The quintessential New York point guard, he played for seven teams during an impressive NBA career, most notably the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers.

He retired in 2004 and is second on the NBA’s career assists list, which could make him an ideal candidate to tutor young point guards Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio. But Jackson has never been a coach, making him the least experienced in the final pool.

Cavs likely to pass on Bowen

Bob Finnan

Apparently, the Cavaliers will take a pass on veteran shooting guard Bruce Bowen.

Bowen, 38, was waived by the Bucks last week before his $4 million salary was guaranteed. The Bucks still owe him a buyout of $2 million.

The 6-foot-7, 200-pounder had spent the previous eight seasons in San Antonio, where he was known as a dogged defender. He was named to the All-Defensive first-team for the fifth consecutive season after the 2007-08 season.

Bowen earned three championship rings with the Spurs. He was traded to Milwaukee in the Richard Jefferson deal this summer. After being waived last Friday, there were rumors the Cavs or Celtics would sign him.

However, the Cavs are probably not going to sign Bowen, a source said. They still have their $2 million bi-annual exception at their disposal, but they might not use it.

Bowen averaged 2.7 points in 80 games with the Spurs last year. The 13-year veteran could be considering retirement.



In the leave-no-stone-unturned department, the Knicks will host washed-up veteran shooting guard Jerry Stackhouse for a workout today at their Westchester compound, according to a team official.

Team president Donnie Walsh, overseeing a tedious free-agency period in which they have yet to make a move through 36 days, is trying to enhance both the point guard and shooting-guard positions.

With the Ramon Sessions negotiations in a stalemate, the Knicks still are playing the field, having met with veteran point guards Jamaal Tinsley and Jason Williams.

Sessions, 23, is the only talent they consider worth a long-term deal. But he is seeking a five-year, $32 million, maximum mid-level deal and that would damage the Knicks’ 2010 cap room. The Knicks are trying to make a trade to free up more cap space in 2010 so they can meet Sessions’ demands. Jared Jeffries is the easiest pawn to trade.

Stackhouse, 34, played just 10 games last season with Dallas because of injuries. Coach Mike D’Antoni appears to have no use for Larry Hughes, and the starting shooting guard position is in the hands of Wilson Chandler.

The Knicks need backcourt depth, and they still seem to be looking for cheaper options beyond unsigned Nate Robinson, whom the Knicks consider a shooting guard.

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