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NBA Rumors for Sunday, September 25
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Phil Jackson recognizes that he took on a lot risks this summer in trading for Derrick Rose and signing Joakim Noah and Brandon Jennings. Rose, after all, has played in just 40 percent of his games over the past five seasons. Noah was limited to just 29 games last season due to shoulder injuries. And Jennings is entering his first full season following an Achillies injury. “In our situation, [it’s] definitely worth the risk,” Jackson said Friday. “We have had two seasons that have not been successful, and we need to move forward and win.” ESPN NY
If the Knicks struggle this season -- or even if they don’t -- there will likely be plenty of speculation about [Phil] Jackson’s future in New York. He has an opt-out in his clause after the season. Jackson said on Friday he hasn’t thought about the option. “I’ve just been going straight ahead. That really hasn’t been an item for me to think about,” Jackson said. “The fact that I had a clause put in the contract, that in case there was a lockout, that it might be a way to step away from the team or a job that doesn’t have any work action going on for a period of time. So that was one clause. That hasn’t affected what I’m doing now.” ESPN NY
The Mavericks signed Barnes to a four-year, $94 million free-agent contract this summer. And it wasn’t to become the team’s No. 4 offensive option like he was with the Golden State Warriors. With that financial investment, Barnes will be given every chance to expand his game exponentially as they hope he can eventually become their go-to guy. Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A strong case can be made that the Mavericks wouldn’t have made the playoffs last year if not for a late-season surge by then-rookie Justin Anderson. Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Nets have salary-cap room to make deadline moves, but at this point they will need to improve with what they have. On a roster short on impact players, that may have to come with team defense. They were dead last in field goal defense (47.9 percent), while Atkinson came from a Hawks team that was first (43.2). “Emphasize team defense,” said Atkinson, pointing out that even his star, Lopez, can and must improve defensively. “It’s not easy to overachieve in the NBA, but if there’s a way to do it, we can do it with good team defense.” And they will need to overachieve to land the impact players they couldn’t this past summer. NY Post
After the Nets posted the third-worst record (21-61) in the NBA last season, Las Vegas oddsmakers have tabbed them to be dead-last this time around. Brooklyn has a new general manager in Sean Marks, a rookie head coach in Kenny Atkinson, a few intriguing young pieces and a hefty $17 million in cap space. It remains to be seen if any of that can help holdover star Brook Lopez, or help them avoid yet another expected horrible season. NY Post
In 2013, some observers considered McLemore talented enough to be the No. 1 overall draft pick. But by his third season, he was scrapping for playing time with Marco Belinelli, even though the veteran was in a career-worst shooting slump. When the Kings hired Dave Joerger as the coach and added shooting guards this offseason, McLemore seemed destined to be traded. But McLemore has impressed Joerger’s staff with his work ethic, and the Kings want to see if he can build on a strong summer. Sacramento Bee
McLemore can become a free agent after the season. He’ll be restricted if the Kings make a qualifying offer rather than letting him leave as an unrestricted free agent. With the rising salary cap, players on their rookie deals such as McLemore are bargains. A qualifying offer for McLemore for the 2017-18 season will cost the Kings just $5.4 million. Sacramento Bee
Anthony Davis was initially scheduled to also have surgery last spring to correct a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder, but doctors determined it unnecessary after evaluation and consultation. “No, my shoulder’s fine,” he said. “I feel like it’s stronger than it’s ever been.” ESPN.com
Davis, 23, said at Friday’s media day that he was “all-in” for practice and training camp, but the Pelicans have taken the long view with his recovery. ESPN.com
A deal between Fox Sports Southwest and the Thunder makes the network the exclusive rights holder of Thunder basketball and at least 70 regular-season games annually. Last year, The Oklahoman wrote about how most regional networks make the decision to focus their time and money on the regular season. Oklahoman
Vivek Ranadive is a creature of Silicon Valley. He built two successful software companies, wears an Apple watch and last year took his employees on a tour of Tesla’s electric car factory. He seeks advice from the man who designed the computer mouse for Steve Jobs. So it’s no wonder the chairman of the Sacramento Kings has produced what he calls “the Tesla of arenas” – a building where fans can use a cellphone app to order food from their seat, summon Uber for a ride home or find the bathroom with the shortest line. Eventually, Ranadive hopes to install facial recognition technology that would eliminate the need for tickets – digital or otherwise. Sacramento Bee
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