The 2012-13 NBA season is approximately two weeks from tipping off, and the preseason rumor mill is starting to sputter to a stop.
While free agency and trade chatter is at any absolute minimum, there are still a few juicy bits of gossip around the league.
Let’s take a look at what’s going on this Monday and recap some of the better rumors from the weekend.
No Truth Behind Calderon to L.A.
Jose Calderon is a solid starting PG and would make for an incredible backup in L.A. behind Steve Nash, but ESPN’s Marc Stein put the kibosh on that.
For those asking about Calderon-to-Lakers Twitter talk today, Calderon's agent Mark Bartelstein says: "There's absolutely nothing to it."— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) October 14, 2012
Calderon’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told the insider that his client and the Los Angeles Lakers have not had any communication and there is no truth behind the rumors.
While the Lake Show would be better off with Calderon, they have enough new pieces this summer and two decent backup point guards in Steve Blake and Chris Duhon. Trading with the Toronto Raptors isn’t and shouldn’t be a priority for GM Mitch Kupchak.
Josh Smith to Test Free Agency
Atlanta Hawks F Josh Smith told team brass that he wouldn’t be interested in inking a new contract during the upcoming season, according to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News.
Considering Smith has been unhappy numerous times throughout his career in Atlanta, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him jump ship to another franchise next summer.
However, the main reason he plans to wait to get a new contract is due to the CBA, which would only allow him to get a three-year maximum extension as opposed to the five-year maximum deal that the Hawks could give (or four years if he signs elsewhere).
The versatile forward will be one of the hottest commodities on the open market when he finally gets there.
Europe Not In NBA’s Immediate Future
Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe recently had a chance to talk with NBA commissioner David Stern about his plans for a potential European expansion.
Stern believes that there needs to be at least five teams introduced to the continent at once, not just a single squad, in order for the NBA to be successful. He feels that the infrastructure isn’t in place right now, and likely will not be for many years.
So right now, it’s the same two buildings (in Berlin and London), with the prospect of construction in France that will start in 2014. So, realistically, there is no short-term way that we could, I think, profitably consider that. So the mode for us is to work with the federations, work with FIBA, work with the leagues, and work with the Euroleague, which we’re doing right now.
Stern once had high hopes to take the NBA overseas, but will have to settle for recruiting the top talent to his league from Europe for now.