The Hawks, who passed on
in the 2005 draft to take
and who then gave ex-Sixer
$25 million in free agency last summer, may be looking at another potential solution to their perennial point-guard problem. Word is they're looking hard at Greek guard
the 30-year-old star point at CSKA Moscow who is expected to try the NBA next season.
Papaloukas is considered by many personnel types to be the best player in Europe, and while he isn't the quickest guy going, at 6-foot-7 he has the size that would give him an edge over other Euro imports that have tried to make a go of it over here. Papaloukas led CSKA to the Euroleague Final Four championship game last month and impressed observers again. . . .
It's never dull in LakerLand. Last week, Jim Buss, the son of owner Jerry Buss and his father's likely successor, threw Phil Jackson under the bus in a local radio interview, saying Jackson couldn't critique the team's roster since he'd signed off on it at the beginning of the season and thought the team could go deep into the playoffs.
That led Jeanie Buss - Jim's sister, Jerry's daughter, the team's executive vice president of business operations, and Jackson's longtime squeeze - to fire back in her own radio appearance this week. She said she took exception to Jim Buss' criticism that Jackson would call players out in the media.
"I thought that was interesting, because that's what he was doing to Phil," Jeanie Buss said.
But Jeanie Buss also allowed that she might be too close to the situation. "I'm the one who throws a monkey wrench into things by the fact that I'm dating the coach," she said.
That still leaves unanswered the question of why it's taking so long for Jackson and the team to agree on that contract extension that's supposedly been a done deal for months. But we're told that there's nothing nefarious afoot and that Jackson is going through his usual postseason inventory of various aches and pains. . . .
One unmentioned aspect of the likelihood (first broached, ahem, in these pages last week) of Rick Adelman going to Houston: the possible resurrection of Bonzi Wells in Houston. Wells' departure was all but assured with Jeff Van Gundy coaching; JVG quickly tired of Wells' act and deactivated him for the playoffs. But Wells had a superlative postseason last year in Sacramento under Adelman, a performance that earned Wells that $38 million offer from the Kings that he - and his now-former agent - inexplicably turned down.