After a year in which he might’ve been the biggest free agent bust of the summer, Travis Outlaw is putting an emphasis on this upcoming year. Actually, it’s his cousin, Chris, who told The Dispatch that there were other issues last year that affected him. He used words like “stressed” and “couldn’t get motivated” and “pressure.” Maybe no one realized it, but that type of pressure comes with $35 million. A few years ago, Outlaw was one of the most dangerous sixth men in the league, a guy who would come in off the bench and cause mismatches with his size and shooting ability. He could make a huge difference in whether Deron Williams feels confident enough to stay. If you’re a Nets fan, who else can you count on from the perimeter to score? There isn’t much else there. They desperately need Outlaw to live up to that contract … It sounds like Cleveland wasn’t the only team that wanted Omri Casspi. Marc Stein tweeted that the Knicks and Spurs have been after the young small forward for a minute now, probably lusting after his three-point shooting and athleticism. Our guess is that the Cavs won’t trade him unless an offer comes through that they can’t refuse. Casspi won’t ever be a great player, but he’s the type of guy every contender can use because of his unselfishness and ability to both fit in and stand out. That’s a tough trait to figure out … Serge Ibaka admits that if a lockout gets rid of the season, he would like to return to Spain and play. When all this talk about a lost season started, we didn’t believe too many players would run to Europe. But with each passing day, someone else speaks up. While it’s still too difficult to get out of a contract, all of those free agents might be able to find their way onto teams across the ocean. The problem is that most teams don’t want to sign players who will bounce at the first sight of a new labor deal. It’s a problem that’s already come up in the recruitment of Patty Mills, who may or may not be back in Portland next season. Besides many of the jobs that are open in other leagues are low-paying. How many NBA guys could swallow their egos and play for virtually nothing (in their eyes)? … Marcin Gortat plans to play for Poland in EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania … And all 12 players on the USA team scored (James Bell led the way with 16) in a 83-54 thumping of Canada to stay undefeated in the U19 World Championships … We’re out like Outlaw’s confidence.
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