Andrew Wiggins is officially leaving the Kansas Jayhawks for the NBA, he announced in a press conference on Monday. The star forward could be the No. 1 pick in June and was never expected to stick around in Lawrence.
He expressed his appreciation for his time in Kansas, and, after Wiggins said, "If I could do it over again, I would," head coach Bill Self joked, "You can." Self spoke glowingly of Wiggins' unselfishness and potential, via Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star:
"I wish I had more time, time goes so fast. I wish I had all four years."
"This is a happy day ... The time is right for Andrew," KU coach Bill Self said. "Opportunity is knocking on the door.
"He was so coachable, a great teammate ... as good as he was for us, he's only scratching the surface of what he can do."
Wiggins averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.2 steals per game in his single season with the Jayhawks.
The Los Angeles Lakers do not intend to waive point guard Steve Nash this summer, according to the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan:
For financial reasons, the Lakers currently plan to keep him next season, The Times has learned, eating the remainder of his contract ($9.7 million) in one swoop instead of waiving him and spreading the money out over three years.
It would give them more money to spend in the summers of 2015 and 2016, when they figure to be active players in the free-agent market amid such possible names as Kevin Love, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
The 40-year-old has appeared in just 12 games this season, battling various injuries, and he discussed the possibility of being waived using the stretch provision in the second episode of his "The Finish Line" series at Grantland.
Nash has expressed his desire to return to the court rather than retiring, and Kobe Bryant has been vocal about wanting the Lakers to be competitive next season. It is unclear how much Nash will be able to offer Los Angeles in 2014-2015, but it appears he will at least get a chance to show he can contribute.
Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley will not have surgery after tearing his meniscus last Thursday, and the Rockets expect him to return this season, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Beverley will be considered "week to week" on his return to the Rockets' lineup, a source said on Monday afternoon. Beverly met with Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Based on Andrews' recommendations, Beverley's possible return will largely be based on the success of his rehabilitation process.
The initial fear was that Beverley would be out for the season, and his ability to hound opposing point guards would be dearly missed in the playoffs. If he's healthy enough, his presence could give Houston's chances a significant boost.
Gasol wants to play with Kaman
Pau Gasol strongly in favor of Chris Kaman playing alongside him: "Better late than never."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 31, 2014
Kaman played 32 minutes in Gasol's absence against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, finishing with a season-high 28 points, 17 rebounds and six assists, shooting 13-for-19 from the field. He's largely been out of the rotation or a backup when Gasol has been healthy, and the tandem has played just 136 minutes in 14 games together. D'Antoni prefers to have a stretch-four on the court at all times, and the Lakers have scored just 98 points per 100 possessions in those 136 minutes, per NBA.com.
Mike D'Antoni said he's still unsure how he would pair Gasol & Kaman together: "I was going to ask you guys and give me scenarios."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 31, 2014
Kaman said last week that he hadn't spoken to D'Antoni in weeks and "can't wait" for the season to be over, via Robert Morales of the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Dirk on free agency: 'I didn't even like it'
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has long stated that he plans to remain with the team that drafted him until he retires. Nothing has changed on that front, and he told David Aldridge of NBA.com why he isn't planning on exploring other options in free agency:
DN: Well, I think the first time I was a free agent was in 2010. Other than that, I always extended early. I didn't even like it. I hated the unknown. Even listening to other teams, I just wasn't interested. I wanted to be here. My heart's here. I've been here for 16 years now. My family's here, friends. I'd love to retire here. I think everybody knows that. So hopefully we compete my last couple of years, make the playoffs every year. I think that's important. And just compete at the highest level. And then, slowly, riding into the sunset. It's been a great ride here. I can't even imagine wearing a different uniform. I don't want to live in a different city. I can't even imagine it.
Nowitzki doesn't have an agent and previously said he does not plan on signing a Kobe Bryant-like extension in Dallas, plus Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has always maintained he wants Nowitzki to stick around. It's hard to imagine negotiations getting contentious when his contract expires at the end of the season.