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NBA Rumors for Sun, March 1

InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:30 p.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.

nba rumors The Philadelphia 76ers are engaged in active buyout talks with newly-acquired center JaVale McGee in advance of Sunday night's playoff-eligibility deadline, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that McGee, after initially saying upon being dealt to the Sixers that he did not want a buyout, has his representatives on the hunt for a team interested in signing the 7-footer once he clears waivers before signing off on a buyout. ESPN.com

McGee would have to be waived by Philadelphia by midnight Sunday to be eligible to play in the 2015 playoffs with another team. But his willingness to surrender salary -- with a guaranteed $12 million scheduled to come his way next season as well as the rest of this season's $11.25 million -- will almost certainly depend on what sort of deal can be had with a new team once the 27-year-old becomes a free agent. ESPN.com

The Sixers took on the substantial remaining money on McGee's contract from the Denver Nuggets on trade deadline day in a deal that also netted them a future first-round pick. McGee has played sparingly since joining Philadelphia and does not appear to have much of a future there, given the presence of young center Nerlens Noel and two highly-rated frontcourt lottery picks (Joel Embiid and Dario Saric) who have yet to play for the Sixers. ESPN.com

nba rumors The Suns played at their worst Saturday night to expose all sorts of problems. Markieff Morris said one of those problems is the Suns' home crowd. After the Suns set a 47-year-old franchise low by scoring 24 points in a half and matching their worst margin of defeat this season, Morris used the postgame forum Saturday to complain about Suns fans at home games. Arizona Republic

"I don't think we have a home-court advantage," Markieff said. "It does not feel like a home-court advantage at all. Some games are going to be bad. You can't win every game. That comes along with sports. Nobody wins games. We need the support. We need, as a team, to know that our fans are going to be behind us and I don't feel like this year they're behind us enough. "I feel like we do have those genuine Suns fans but, for the most part, I feel like we had more San Antonio than Phoenix fans tonight." Arizona Republic

"They don't boo, but they don't cheer that much, either," Markieff said. "We feed off, for the most part, off the energy. I know we're a lot better than that. I know Phoenix fans are a lot better than that. Like I said, we have a lot of genuine fans that cheers for us – the ones that are in the first row, in the second row, in the third row. Once you go up, you feel like people were just at the game, just watching." Arizona Republic

"We didn't have no energy, building wasn't energetic," Marcus said. "I saw more Spurs jerseys than Suns jerseys, so sometimes when you come out flat you need your fans to pick you up and we didn't get that tonight. We can't blame them for the loss, but if they can help out a little bit." Arizona Republic

Ex-NBA player Earl Watson claims he shouldn't have to pay up just because his estranged wife's acting career FELL OFF A CLIFF after her days of starring on a hit TV show ... and wants a judge to protect his wallet in their nasty child support war. Watson has gone to battle with Jennifer Freeman -- who starred as Claire Kyle on "My Wife and Kids" back in the early 2000s. They have a 5-year-old daughter together. TMZ

MAIN MORNING NBA RUMORS PAGE STORIES

nba rumors Heat forward Chris Bosh was released from the hospital Friday after spending a week after being diagnosed with blood clots on his lung. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Bosh was in good spirits despite the setback. "He's at home," Spoelstra said. "He's recovering. He's starting to feel a little bit better. He's definitely glad to be out of the hospital." South Florida Sun Sentinel

Bosh will miss the remainder of the season because of the blood-thinning medication. He is the second player to be ruled out for the year because of blood clots. The ailment also sidelined Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic. South Florida Sun Sentinel

nba rumors Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had surgery to repair a fracture to his right cheek after getting hit by a teammate's knee. The Thunder announced Saturday that the surgery took place in Los Angeles. AP

In the 28 days — which included an All-Star game MVP for Westbrook and will assuredly result in his first career Player of the Month award — OKC went 9-3. The wins came by an average of 14.1 points. The losses came by 3, 3 and 4 — an Anthony Davis buzzer-beating heave, an overtime loss in Phoenix and Friday’s heartbreaker in Portland. Westbrook starred in all 12. Oklahoman

Westbrook: In February, the superstar point guard vaulted himself into serious MVP consideration with averages of 31.2 points, 10.3 assists and 9.1 rebounds, becoming the second player in NBA history to average at least 30-10-9 for a calendar month (the other is Oscar Roberston). Oklahoman

Westbrook finished off the month with three consecutive triple-doubles. It’s the first time anyone has done that since LeBron James in March 2009 and only the fourth time in the past 20 seasons (Jason Kidd in 2008, Grant Hill in 1997).No one in the NBA has had four consecutive triple-doubles since Michael Jordan in 1989. Oklahoman

nba rumors Boston Celtics second-year big man Kelly Olynyk went through nearly all of Boston's light offday workout Saturday, but seemed to hint that he's still not quite ready to get back on the floor for game action. Olynyk has been sidelined since Jan. 22 with a sprained right ankle that has forced him to miss 16 consecutive games. Coach Brad Stevens had previously deemed Olynyk questionable for Sunday's visit from the Golden State Warriors, but Olynyk doesn't want to return until he's certain he won't be a liability on the floor. ESPN Boston

Kevin Garnett was ejected from the Minnesota Timberwolves' game against Memphis on Saturday night in the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul. Garnett was playing in his second home game since being reacquired by the Timberwolves, and he picked up a technical in the second quarter from referee Eric Lewis for arguing a foul call. AP

[Wizards coach Randy] Wittman is making $3 million per year and is credited with rebuilding a team that was absent from the postseason for six years. He led them to 44 victories and a second-round playoff berth last season. Though the Wizards are struggling, his star player John Wall still supports him among others and there are no indications that he has "lost the locker room." CSN Washington

nba rumors Kyrie Irving will miss his second game Sunday because of a strained left shoulder. Irving missed Friday’s loss at the Indiana Pacers and coach David Blatt was hopeful Irving could rejoin the team in Houston, but the team announced Saturday he was still in Cleveland receiving treatment and has been ruled out. Akron Beacon Journal Blog

The Pistons lost 99-95 to the Washington Wizards, but Dinwiddie rallied them from a 21-point deficit in the second half, and even scored the go-ahead basket in the fourth quarter. The deficit was too big however, and the Pistons (23-36) lost lost their third in a row, while the Wizards (34-26) broke a six-game losing streak. Dinwiddie a second-round draft pick from Colorado, had 20 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Monroe led the Pistons with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Michigan Live

nba rumors “We’re just changing out defense a lot,” coach Byron Scott said at practice Saturday. “We’re going to our full-court press, we’re going to our zone, we’re going to our man. We’re just trying to keep them off balance as much as possible. We’re in scramble situations where we feel we have to make that second and third effort, and our guys are doing that. ... I’m happy with the progress.” ESPN LA

The Lakers are allowing 108.0 points per 100 possessions this season, which is the second-worst mark in the NBA, according to NBA.com/Stats, but have trimmed that figure down to just 97.5 points per 100 possessions during their three wins over the Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks -- the 10th-best defense over that span. ESPN LA

Chandler Parsons is no longer in a protective boot and has resumed basketball activities and conditioning. "I want to be back badly, but I also don't want to rush back and have it keep lingering into the end of the season and the playoffs when the games really matter," Parsons said. "I'm trying to get back as soon as possible. At the same time, I've got to be smart about it and listen to the trainers." ESPN Dallas

nba rumors Rod Thorn, NBA president of basketball operations, said Ezeli was suspended without pay “for initiating an altercation with Toronto Raptors forward-center Tyler Hansbrough by grabbing his throat.” The incident, which resulted in an ejection, occurred with 0.4 seconds remaining in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 113-89 victory over the Raptors on Friday at the Air Canada Centre. Hansbrough, who charged Ezeli, was also ejected but not suspended. San Francisco Chronicle

After Friday’s game, Ezeli said, “He kind of got in my face, and that’s not something I should bother myself with — somebody like that.” Kerr was mostly disappointed that the altercation stripped valuable playing time from Ezeli, who had played only three minutes in the team’s previous 10 games. San Francisco Chronicle

Anthony Mason has died, the Knicks said Saturday. He was 48. Former teammate Patrick Ewing said his "heart is heavy" after learning Mason had died after recent heart problems. "Mase came to play every night and was always ready to go to battle with me every time we stepped on the court together," Ewing said in a statement. "I will remember him for his strength, determination and perseverance." AP

Mason won a Sixth Man Award with the Knicks and later made an All-Star team, but it was the toughness he provided alongside Charles Oakley while surrounding franchise center Ewing that made him a fan favorite in New York. AP

The 6-foot-7 Mason won the NBA's Sixth Man award in 1995 with a Knicks team that was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs in one of its classic clashes with the Indiana Pacers. Mason also won all-defensive-team honors two years later with the Charlotte Hornets. AP

Mason was drafted in the third round out of Tennessee State in 1988 by Portland, but he never played for the Trail Blazers. After a brief stint overseas, he played sparingly in 21 games for the New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets before he finally caught on with Riley's defense-first Knicks in 1991. He was a force for them as they made a run to the 1994 NBA Finals, and clashed with other powerful Eastern Conference teams, including Jordan's Bulls. AP

Anthony Mason was born Dec. 14, 1966, in Miami. He went to high school in the New York City borough of Queens, where his son Anthony Jr. would later play for St. John's University before going on to a pro career in the minor leagues and overseas. Another son, Antoine, is at Auburn this season after transferring from Niagara, where he graduated after finishing second nationally with 25.6 points per game last season. AP

“We were a hard-nosed, no-nonsense team,” guard Derek Harper said. “Our toughness came through guys like Mase. He was the mainstay of what we were, the epitome of hard work. No one ever protected teammates like Oak and Mase. “He didn’t have my route to the pros,” Harper added. “He took the hard road, went to a small college [Tennessee State]. He beat the odds. And to be from New York and find success in New York as a Knickerbocker, that is a hard thing to do. But Mase had that toughness. This is just a sad day.” NY Post

Mason did it his way. He frequently sent ballboys or locker-room attendants for a couple pregame hot dogs, a habit which didn’t endear him to Knicks nutritionists. One game, the ballboy was intercepted. The hot dogs were removed from the buns and replaced with bananas. Mason was not amused. NY Post

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