Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

NBA news roundup: Gilbert Arenas may get Clippers camp invite, Ricky Davis works out with Knicks

Gilbert Arenas is trying to make an NBA comeback, and the Los Angeles Clippers may give him an opportunity, according to Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD. Kennedy reports that Arenas has looked good in workouts this summer and could receive a camp invite from the Clippers.

Arenas last played in the NBA in the 2011-12 season, when he played 17 games for the Memphis Grizzlies. Arenas made little impact, averaging 4.2 points in 12.4 minutes per game. The 31-year-old played last season in China with the Shanghai Sharks, averaging 20.7 points in 14 games.

It has been quite some time since Arenas made a significant impact in the NBA, with a multitude of injuries and a gun incident limiting his time on the court. At just 31 years old, Arenas may still have a bit left in the tank, but it seems like a long shot that he'll make a roster.

Knicks work out Davis, host of others

Much like Arenas, another NBA veteran who hasn't played in the league in several years is trying to make a comeback. That would be Ricky Davis, who worked out for the New York Knicks this week, according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York.

Davis last played in the NBA in the 2009-10 season with the Los Angeles Clippers. Davis appeared in 36 games that year, averaging 4.4 points in 13.9 minutes per game. Since then, the 33-year-old has spent time overseas and in the D-League.

Davis reportedly displayed some of his athleticism at his Knicks workout, dunking on free-agent big man Cole Aldrich. Among the other players invited to work out were Ike Diogu, Josh Powell and Justin Brownlee. New York currently has 16 players under contract, with 12 of those being fully guaranteed deals.

Thibodeau would be upset if Bulls lose Deng

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has relied heavily on Luol Deng the past few years, playing the small forward major minutes in each of the last three seasons. In fact, Deng has led the NBA in minutes per game the last two years.

So it should come as no surprise that Thibodeau wouldn't be too pleased if this upcoming season is Deng's last in a Bulls uniform, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

"Ask Tom how important he thinks Luol is,'' the source said. "How happy do you think he would be with that decision?''

Deng is entering the final year of his contract and extension talks recently broke down, essentially ensuring that the two-time All-Star would test the market in free agency next offseason. The Bulls have a big decision to make when it comes to Deng and whether they want to commit more long-term money to a guy whose body may be breaking down due to all the wear and tear.

Deng has dealt with a variety of injuries over the past few seasons, and despite making the All-Star team the last two years, he has had two of the most inefficient offensive seasons of his career. The Bulls could open up a decent chunk of cap space by letting Deng walk and amnestying Carlos Boozer, and they could use that to pursue a more dynamic offensive option.

Kerr picks Bulls to end Heat's reign

Chicago could look at moving Deng at the deadline in order to avoid losing him for nothing, but that would likely set the team back during a season in which they're trying to dethrone the Miami Heat. And with Derrick Rose finally returning from an ACL injury, there are some who believe the Bulls will do just that.

One of those people is former Bull and current TNT analyst Steve Kerr, who said as much to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

"I just feel like it's all sort of teed up for Chicago with Rose coming back, guys like Noah and [Taj] Gibson entering their prime," Kerr said. "I think Chicago will have something special this year."

Chicago and Miami have played each other in two of the last three postseasons, with the Heat coming out ahead in five games both times. However, with the return of Rose, the addition of Mike Dunleavy and the improvement of other players like Jimmy Butler, the Bulls may be looking at their best chance to beat the Heat.

Morey discusses Howard, Rockets chances

The Houston Rockets made the big splash of the NBA offseason, coaxing Dwight Howard to leave the Los Angeles Lakers to team up with James Harden in Houston. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey joined MaD Radio to speak about the courtship of Howard, and Morey said he wasn't confident the big man was his until the actual contract was signed:

Despite being the first team to meet with Howard on July 1st, Morey wasn't really comfortable with getting Howard to Houston until it was official, "I didn't really feel like we had him for sure until, he literally, the ink was flowing out of the pen," Morey told MaD Radio.  "I didn't feel good until then."

While a healthy Howard should vault the Rockets toward the top of the NBA, Morey knows there's still a lot of work to do. Morey even admitted that there are still at least three teams likely better on paper:

"I think there are probably at least three teams better than us if not more," Morey said about the chances of winning a championship this season. "Until you're going into a season feeling like you are the top one or two I think it's, and we haven't really accomplished anything, I think it's hard to talk about ‘hey we're one of the favorites to win the championship.'  But I do think we go in with a chance, where as we haven't in the last few years."

Houston may be chasing several teams on paper, but championships aren't won on paper. Morey has done an excellent job building the Rockets into a contender, and with the current team in place, there's a chance at something special.

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This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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