NBA news roundup: Terrel Harris suspended for violating drug policy, Sixers coaching search on to the second round


The Portland Trail Blazers' 15th player might find himself out of a job after his most recent mistake.

Newly acquired Portland Trail Blazers guard Terrel Harris will start the season with a five-game suspension after violating the NBA's anti-drug policy.

Harris was a part of the package that helped land Robin Lopez in Portland this offseason. He was a fringe player at best, and although he performed well at times during the Summer League, Blazer's Edge notes he is Portland's 15th player whose contract is non-guaranteed if he is released by Oct. 31.

He averaged 0.8 points in 6.9 minutes per game in 20 appearances last year as Harris split time between the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Hornets. The specifics of the violation were not released.

76ers coaching search finally hits second round

There was a bit of movement on the Philadelphia 76ers coaching search, albeit just slight movement, as four assistant coaches are scheduled to meet with managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported on Monday.

The Sixers are the only team in the NBA still looking for a head coach to lead the team. With Philadelphia in full-blown rebuilding mode, GM Sam Hinkie is taking his time to make a decision that counts. Liberty Ballers observes the new coach won't have a whole lot to work with, but at least the Sixers coaching search is now closed for new applicants.

The coach the Sixers hire will be expected to lose early. It's possible that some candidates will back out because of the dangers in losing games early in a coaching career. Curry may be a backup option, one contractually obligated to stay here, who might take the job for a raise and bite the rebuilding/tanking bullet.

Kobe Bryant is ahead of injury timetable

Kobe Bryant sometimes says he is well on his way to healing, other times steps back across the line to a more cautious outlook as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon. But according to a report by Sporting News, Bryant told a group of reporters in China that he is "shattering" the timetable for his return.

The 34-year-old Los Angeles Lakers guard had surgery to fix his tendon on April 13, and told reporters after just three-and-a-half months that he is walking and lifting weights fine.

The standard consensus is that it takes around nine to 12 months to recuperate fully from an Achilles tear, and although Bryant is sounding optimistic, Silver Screen and Roll points out he also tempered his timetable expectations in the same statement to reporters.

It's worth noting that while Bryant is confident that he has shattered the timetable, he also mentions there is still no timetable as his recovery is "new territory."

Bryant averaged 27.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds a game last season.

Goran Dragic ejected in friendly Eurobasket tournament tune up

A friendly between Slovenia and Turkey became unfriendly for a few minutes as Suns point guard Goran Dragic got into a short scuffle with Turkey guard Dogus Balbay.

The two teams are prepping for the Eurobasket tournament in September, which is hosted in Slovenia this year. In a video of the ruckus, Dragic drove the lane on Balbay, and a quick whistle didn't end the play soon enough. Dragic kept driving, Balbay kept defending, and soon the two where taking quick swipes at each other.

A slow-motion replay of the incident begins at the 3:13 mark in the video below. Both players were ejected for their roles in the incident.

As Bright Side of the Sun writes, maybe the pressure on the national stage is already getting into Dragic's head.

Eurobasket 2013 will commence soon, and the pressure on Dragic to perform well for his home country will be greater than anything he's faced before. Let's hope it turns out better for him in Slovenia than it did in Phoenix last year.

More from SB Nation:

Ziller: Is the NBA draft pick overvalued?

Who else gets paid like John Wall?

Pistons could still chase Rajon Rondo

Greg Oden takes his talents to South Beach

The top 61 rookies at NBA Summer League

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