The 2013-14 NBA season may still be over 10 weeks from tipping off, but that doesn’t mean that the league is going to get boring anytime soon.
With the end of summer rapidly approaching, there is plenty of buzz surrounding various free agents, coaching candidates and more around the league.
Let’s take a look at which players are garnering consideration to be signed, which candidate may end up nabbing the last remaining head-coaching gig and more in Monday’s rumor roundup.
Pistons Interested in Collins
The Detroit Pistons are in the midst of a massive rebuild this offseason and may decide to make a splash signing to augment their emerging frontcourt.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein, the Motor City-based organization has shown some exploratory interest in Jason Collins, the veteran center that recently made headlines by becoming the first openly gay professional athlete in one of America’s major sports.
If signed, Collins would provide injury insurance behind young big men Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. At age 34, the 7-footer simply isn’t the same player he was earlier in his career.
Collins averaged just 1.1 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.3 blocks per game during the 2012-13 campaign, which he split between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards.
He’s an adequate defender over short stretches against certain centers, but he's also a liability on offense and doesn’t have the athleticism or quickness to guard many opponents.
However, the 12-year veteran could provide sage advice and another big body on a cheap contract all while helping Monroe and Drummond continue their rapid development during the upcoming campaign.
It’ll be interesting to see if Detroit pursues Collins further or elects to go in a different direction to round out its roster.
Philadelphia 76ers Ready to Hire Brown
The 'Sixers have the last vacant head-coaching gig in town, but that may not last much longer.
According to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News, general manager Sam Hinkie has offered the job to San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Brett Brown and is awaiting an answer.
It may take some time, as Stein found that Brown is being “urged” by his colleagues not to accept the position because his first year is a “guaranteed” failure.
Hinkie made the somewhat controversial decision to blow up the roster during the 2013 draft by trading star point guard Jrue Holiday and build around lottery picks Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams.
The collective prediction of Brown’s associates of 60-plus losses may be quite accurate, but Hinkie seems to be banking on failure in order to acquire a top pick in the loaded 2014 draft.
If Brown accepts the job, he will likely be given a long leash to develop prospects at the cost of winning games. It’s doubtful the Philadelphia's brass would fire anyone hired after one season, unless it is extremely unsatisfied with player development or coaching style.
However, the stigma of losing and a terrible record would forever be attached to Brown’s name, which may be the main reason why his friends are trying to convince him to stay away.
It’s going to take several years and a bit of luck for Philly to make a complete turnaround, and you need to look no further than the Charlotte Bobcats to see how tumultuous coaching a rebuilding club can be.
Michael Jordan’s organization has been through six coaches since its inception in 2004, with 2012-13 coach Mike Dunlap lasting just one season.