A 28-year-old reserve player who has shot under 40 percent from the field for two straight seasons and posted Player Efficiency Ratings (PERs) below nine over that same span doesn't sound like an appealing NBA free agent. When August rolls around and you still need to add a big man, though, things can get desperate in a hurry.
The Bulls have expressed interest in Tolliver and the Jazz have looked into his availability, per Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype. The Lakers recently contacted the big man to express interest -- an opportunity his agent said Tolliver would have to think long and hard about -- while the Charlotte Bobcats are the only team to have extended an actual contract offer to the five-year NBA veteran. Charlotte extended a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum, according to Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida, so if the Bulls or Lakers match that offer they may be able to lure Tolliver away based on their contender status.
Again, weird things happen in the late stages of free agency.
Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey addressed the media in a press conference on Thursday, making it clear that big man LaMarcus Aldridge never asked for a trade this summer -- despite rumors suggesting Aldridge wants out of a rebuilding situation:
"I think it comes from all you [media] -- everybody fighting to be first with inaccurate information. I can tell you, LaMarcus Aldridge, you guys have known him longer than I have. And if he had asked to be traded, he would have told people that he asked to be traded. He never asked to be traded."
Don't expect that statement to put an end to the trade speculation, though. Aldridge is a talented big man in his prime on an affordable contract that expires in two years and the Trail Blazers are a team that likely won't be ready to compete for a premium playoff spot in the Western Conference during that span. The reality of the situation will continue to fuel the rumors well into the season, even if nothing happens.
The new-look Brooklyn Nets are scheduled to play in Boston against the Celtics on Jan. 26 during the regular season, and that's probably enough for Paul Pierce. The Celtic legend has already hinted that he will skip out on the Nets' preseason meeting in Boston this season, telling ESPN Radio: "I'll [return to Boston] just one time next year."
The Philadelphia 76ers are still searching for a new head coach, but it appears that Chicago Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin will not be that man. Griffin is no longer being considered for the position, according to Dei Lynam of CSN Philadelphia, while San Antonio assistant coach Brett Brown, Boston assistant Jay Larranaga and Atlanta assistant Kenny Atkinson will all be invited back for second interviews.