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News around the NBA on 5-10-13

Catching up with some league news.

Christian Petersen

Sometimes we need to come up for air from all the lawsuits discussion and remember that there is an actual game with teams and players behind all of this!

The Denver Nuggets took home the hardware this off season with George Karl receiving Coach of the Year as we've previously noted here on Sonics Rising. Yesterday they added to that tally.

Denver Nuggets' Masai Ujiri named NBA's top executive - ESPN

DENVER -- Even as Masai Ujiri accepted the NBA's executive of the year trophy from club president Josh Kroenke on Thursday, the Denver Nuggets general manager said he would have given it up gladly in exchange for a deep playoff run.

"It's a little bittersweet for me," Ujiri said at a news conference a day after the Nuggets' George Karl took the trophy for coach of the year. "I would trade that to be playing right now." Ujiri, the first African-born GM in major American sports, built the Nuggets team that won an NBA franchise-record 57 games and went an NBA-best 38-3 at home before going down in the first round.

Over on there is some good stuff on free agents for this off season.

Hot List: Top 10 Unrestricted Free Agents " | Hang Time Blog

Only eight teams remain in the playoffs, meaning the fans of 22 other teams have turned much of their attention to the offseason and the free-agent summer of 2013 in particular. We will encounter a familiar name there, one Dwight David Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers, who along with Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, will be at the center of all things come July 1 (when free agency kicks off in all of its usual craziness).

There are a dozen teams, most notably Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Utah, Cleveland, New Orleans, Detroit, Charlotte and Washington, with the cash to spend and the flexibility to significantly tweak, and, in some cases, totally remake their rosters. All these teams need is a free agent willing to give them a chance to make the proper sales pitch. For the top-level free agents — and this summer that list it two truly elite players deep, Howard and Paul — the list of potential suitors will be exclusive.

Only those franchises with championship potential need bother. But that’s what makes the summer, the scramble by a large number of teams for the same small group of big-time free agents. We have more than seven weeks to before free agency goes into complete crazy mode, but why wait until then to get the party started?

The full list of this summer’s available names is around, as always, courtesy of our Free Agent Tracker. And if you’re looking for the top restricted free-agent picks, they’re right here. Here are our top 10 unrestricted free agents for the summer of 2013 …

(click through for full player profiles)

Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Josh Smith, Andrew Bynum, David West, Al Jefferson, Manu Ginobili, Andre Igudala, Paul Millsap, and Monta Ellis.

2013 NBA playoffs: Breaking down Warriors-Spurs and Bulls-Heat series - ESPN

5-on-5: Our panel examines the Warriors-Spurs and Bulls-Heat series.

Questions covered:

1. Was the Warriors' win or the Heat's blowout more surprising?

2. Stephen Curry or Lebron James: Who's more fun to watch right now?

3. Fact or Fiction: Taj Gibson should be suspended for his Game 2 outburst?

4. Warriors or Spurs: Who wins the series and in how many games?

5. Heat or Bulls: Who wins the series and in how many games?

And we certainly wish Dr. Jack Ramsay well. Sad he has to go out like this.

Dr. Jack Ramsay says broadcasting career likely over - ESPN

ESPN Radio analyst and Basketball Hall of Famer Dr. Jack Ramsay is in need of immediate medical treatment and will not work the remainder of the NBA playoffs. "I need some medical treatments at this time and will be unable to work the rest of NBA postseason on ESPN Radio,"

Ramsay said in a statement to ESPN, "I'll miss doing the broadcasts, but I'll be watching and listening." Ramsay, 88, did not specify his medical condition. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer 14 years ago and previously had been treated for melanomas.