Byron Scott's assistant coaching staff was announced on Tuesday, and it includes Mark Madsen.
Madsen, Jim Eyen and Paul Pressey will all be assistants on the bench with Scott, while he'll also have help from Larry Lewis (assistant coach/director of player development), Thomas Scott (Byron's son - assistant coach/player development), Clay Moser (assistant coach/head advance NBA scout), Tom Bialaszewski (video coordinator/coach) and J.J. Outlaw (video coordinator/player development).
Festus Ezeli, who had knee surgery in June of 2013, still isn't running full speed, but hopes to be ready to start doing more basketball activities when training camp starts.
Ezeli, who was only expected to need six-to-nine months to recover is now past 15 months without doing much in the gym. He hasn't played five-on-five and was forced to miss summer league with shin inflammation. He says the shin is better, but he's only been doing one-on-one work with coaches. "I don’t think I’ll be 100 percent until I actually start playing in games, but I’m close enough," Ezeli said. "I’m getting ready for training camp, which will give me a chance to start running and doing all of that stuff I love on the court." There's no reason to draft or own Ezeli until he proves he's healthy again.
Jason Terry's pending trade to the Rockets is expected to be finalized on Wednesday, according to Jason Jones.
The deal was put together in back in late August and will reportedly send Terry to the Rockets for Alonzo Gee and possibly some non-guaranteed contracts. None of the included players are expected to be worth owning in fantasy leagues this year.
Tim Hardaway Jr. said recently he plans to focus on defense this season.
"I just want to be a better defender, a better vocal leader out there," Hardaway Jr. said. "That is my main focus. I know offense will come and I will get better at that each and every day. Where you separate yourself in the league is by playing team defense and I want to be a part of that." While being a better defender may not immediately make him a better fantasy player, it could earn him more minutes and a better relationship with his coach, which could give his value a boost.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday that the city of Atlanta will help to ensure the Hawks stay in the city when they are sold, suggesting the city could contribute $150 to $200 million to make it happen.
The city lost the NHL's Thrashers and the Braves (moving to nearby Cobb County) under Reed's watch and he clearly wants to avoid a trifecta. The sale of Turner Field, where the currently Braves play, would also be an important piece of the puzzle, giving the city more money to work with. At this point, it doesn't sound like there's much chance the Hawks will be moving out of Atlanta, especially since the city is willing to help make sure it doesn't happen. In other Hawks news, legend and potential buyer Dominique Wilkins will have a statue unveiled at Philips Arena next March.
Xavier Henry's surgically-repaired left wrist is "good" but he's still rehabbing his right knee, according to Lakers beat writer Mike Trudell.
Henry has been doing "basketball related activities" but hasn't yet been cleared for games, and coach Byron Scott said last week that the dual surgeries might limit Henry during training camp. Injuries are a common thread during Henry's four-year NBA career and he's never played more than 50 games in a season.
Free agent PG Kalin Lucas has reportedly agreed to a training-camp deal with the Grizzlies.
The 25-year-old averaged 13.9 points and 4.6 assists per game in the D-League last season, following a two-year stint in Europe. Fantasy owners should ignore him, as he's unlikely to make the regular-season roster.
Tyler Zeller said that his goal is to start at center for the Celtics this season.
"I have a lot of work to do to earn that spot. I expect to have to earn it, but I think it is a great opportunity," Zeller said. He's bulked up to 260 lbs. this summer, which he hopes will allow him to "hold [his] own rebounding-wise, as well as in the post." He faces plenty of competition from Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani, but there's a good chance he'll be in the starting five on opening night.